Constitutional Law/Civil Rights
Constitutional and civil rights litigation primarily concerns the limitations of government in regulating the rights and activities of individuals and corporations, and is related to the field of administrative law. Stuart has been involved in this area throughout his career, representing both private parties and government. His cases have involved issues of free speech, due process, equal protection, property rights, environmental regulation, police brutality, and cruel and unusual punishment.
Representative Cases on Behalf of Private Parties
Durden v. California
531 U.S. 1184, 121 S.Ct. 1183, 148 L.Ed.2d 1027 (2001).
This was a claim in the United States Supreme Court that California’s “three strikes” statutes authorizing life sentences for recidivists convicted of petty theft constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The Court declined to hear the case, although two Justices published an opinion dissenting from that decision.
Hospitality Enterprise Management, Inc. v. City of Stanton
(C.D. Cal) 8-13cv-00612.
This First Amendment case in federal court successfully challenged the City of Stanton’s unconstitutional effort to curtail adult entertainment within its borders by charging individuals over $2,000 in permit fees before they can audition to perform as dancers, and resulted in a reduced fee of about $75.
Ruiz v. City of Rialto
10-01639 (C.D. Cal. 2011).
This action on behalf of nightclub owners resulted in the termination of an ongoing campaign of police harassment including demands for monthly payments of $15,000 for police services.
Gammoh v. City of Anaheim
2003 WL 40795 (Cal. App. 2003) and
City of La Habra v. Gammoh
2004 WL 2898160 (Cal. App. 2004).
These challenges to unconstitutional overregulation of adult cabarets resulted in record-setting payments to the plaintiff of over $7 million.
Dunbar v. Toia
380 N.E.2d 321 (NY 1978) and
Showard v. Brezenoff
78 Civ. 1965 (SDNY 1979).
The landmark Dunbar case, followed by the Showard class action, established the right of all social services clients in New York to examine the complete unedited contents of their case files.
Cases on Behalf of Government Agencies
(Defeating constitutional challenges to critical environmental and public health programs.)
Cecos International, Inc. v. Jorling
895 F.2d 66 (2d Cir. 1990).
This decision upheld the constitutionality of a statute requiring new and expanding hazardous waste facilities to obtain certificates of environmental safety and public necessity from a state siting board.
Dana Distributors, Inc. v. Dept. of Environmental Conservation
532 N.Y.S.2d 351 (1988).
This ruling sustained the constitutionality of the New York Returnable Beverage Container Act.
Town of Riverhead v. Dept. of Environmental Conservation
598 N.Y.S.2d 14 (1993).
This decision upheld the constitutionality of the New York Wild, Scenic & Recreational Rivers System Act.
Stuart has written extensively on constitutional and civil rights litigation in the Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal.