Eldee-K Rental Properties, LLC, is a limited liability company organized under the laws of Connecticut. It owns a residential apartment building in Hartford, Connecticut.
In May 2011, Eldee-K filed a complaint against DIRECTV, a direct broadcast satellite television provider, alleging that DIRECTV has a policy of installing satellite reception equipment in common areas of apartment buildings and other multiple dwelling units (such as the building’s exterior walls or rooftop) without the landlord’s consent. According to the complaint, DIRECTV requires prospective subscribers who reside in multiple dwelling units to complete an installation form authorizing the installation of equipment in common areas. A tenant can either complete Part 1 of the form by obtaining the landlord’s signature, or Part 2 of the form by certifying that the landlord has verbally authorized the installation or that the lease does not require landlord consent. The complaint alleges that DIRECTV permanently installed equipment at Eldee-K’s apartment building, including by drilling holes in the exterior of the building, without obtaining Eldee-K’s consent. Beyond alleging that DIRECTV drilled holes in the building’s exterior, the complaint did not identify the specific common areas on its property where the installation took place.
Based on these allegations, Eldee-K sought to certify a class of all landlords who own and lease residential multiple dwelling units in the United States on which DIRECTV installed equipment based on Part 2 of its installation form. Eldee-K brought three causes of action against DIRECTV. First, Eldee-K alleged that DIRECTV violated California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200–10, which makes a person who engages in unfair competition subject to an injunction and other civil penalties. The complaint alleged that DIRECTV’s use of Part 2 of the installation form was an unfair business act that violated the policies embodied in California Penal Code § 602(m), which makes “[e]ntering and occupying real property or structures of any kind without the consent of the owner” a misdemeanor criminal offense. Through this claim, Eldee-K sought to enjoin DIRECTV from using Part 2 of the installation form.
Judge(s): Sandra S. Ikuta
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Related Categories: Bankruptcy , Business Organizations , Civil Remedies , Competition , Constitutional Law , Contracts , Criminal Justice , Damages , Employment , Finance / Banking , Government / Politics , Property , Torts , Transportation , Wills / Trusts / Estates
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Plaintiff Lawyer(s)||Plaintiff Law Firm(s)|
|Alan Plutzik||Bramson Plutzik Mahler & Birkhaeuser LLP|
|Jennifer Rosenberg||Bramson Plutzik Mahler & Birkhaeuser LLP|
|Robert Izard||Izard Nobel LLP|
|Mark Kindall||Izard Nobel LLP|
|Jeffrey Nobel||Izard Nobel LLP|
|Defendant Lawyer(s)||Defendant Law Firm(s)|
|Alex Akerman||Alston & Bird LLP|
|Grace Kang||Alston & Bird LLP|
|Sayaka Karitani||Alston & Bird LLP|
|Andrew Paris||Alston & Bird LLP|