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Old March 19, 2014, 03:21 PM   #1
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NRA announcing a win in Jane Doe v Wilmington Housing Authority

Here on the NRA-ILA website they've issued a press release that Jane Doe has won her case and provisions in the lease agreement for these housing authority apartments requiring tenants to agree to not keep and bear arms was unconstitutional. If this summary is incorrect, I would hope a J.D. will correct it.

While it reminds me of the housing authority news story making the rounds in here a while back from the Colorado area, I also see a State Preemption claim in the document I found online that may or may not be the final word on the matter. With it being supposedly in several state and even a couple federal courts, I have no confidence in being able to follow the trail and figure out who decided what for whom.

With that said if any of you professionals want to give me/us some crib notes on what all of this is, especially how/when it jumped courts, and what that means, I'd appreciate it.
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Old March 20, 2014, 01:06 PM   #2
Al Norris
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The civil case was lost at District Court, back on July 30, 2012.

On Aug. 29, 2012, an appeal was filed at CA3.
10-23-2012 - Opening brief was filed.
11-26-2012 - Response by Appellees was filed.
12-17-2012 - Reply brief was filed.
02-28-2013 - Calendared Orals for 05-23-2013.
05-23-2013 - Orals held.
07-18-2013 - Orders from the panel to certify State Law to the Delaware Supreme Court.
07-31-2013 - Notification from Delaware Supreme Court that they will take up the question.
03-18-2014 - Supreme Court of Delaware returns Opinion regarding the question of State law.

In its order, the CA3 asked:

The following questions of law are certified to your Court for disposition:

(1) Whether, under Article I, § 20 of the Delaware Constitution, a public housing agency such as the WHA may adopt a policy prohibiting its residents, household members, and guests from displaying or carrying a firearm or other weapon in a common area, except when the firearm or other weapon is being transported to or from a resident‟s housing unit or is being used in self-defense.

(2) Whether, under Article I, § 20 of the Delaware Constitution, a public housing agency such as the WHA may require its residents, household members, and guests to have available for inspection a copy of any permit, license, or other documentation required by state, local, or federal law for the ownership, possession, or transportation of any firearm or other weapon, including a license to carry a concealed weapon, as required by 11 Del. C. § 1441, on request, when there is reasonable cause to believe that the law or policies have been violated.

This court will retain jurisdiction of the appeal pending resolution of this certification.
The Delaware Supreme Court, after explaining, used Intermediate Scrutiny in deciding that the Common Areas (what was in dispute) of rental property (Apartment complexes), whether owned by a private person or by the government, are part and parcel of the living quarters of the residents and could not be exempt from Article I, § 20 guarantees. The two rules (The Revised Policy) in contention were over-broad and severely burdened the right to self protection as recognized by the Delaware Supreme Court.

The case is now back to the CA3, where by its own mandate, it will use this opinion to formulate their own opinion.

So, in this respect, it is a win for the NRA. Still, we will have to wait for the panels opinion and mandate to the lower court. Then we will await the lower courts opinion as directed by the CA3.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 12-3433 CA3 Order of Certification.pdf (351.4 KB, 2 views)
File Type: pdf 12-3433 Delaware Supreme Court Opinion.pdf (239.4 KB, 2 views)
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Old March 20, 2014, 03:06 PM   #3
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But no matter what, the State Supreme Court of Delaware has said this won't fly under the State Constitution? So this may or may not make Federal case law, but will hold for Delaware- though they may have to challenge in State court, and point to this question/answer for a slam dunk?
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