(6) -- failure to state a cause of action. Plaintiff has moved for a preliminary injunction.
Plaintiff contends that RDA "a local public agency"
that receives federal financial assistance from HUD condemned certain property in Philadelphia pursuant to its urban renewal plan; and that by reason of such condemnation and notice to vacate, plaintiff, a tenant of a portion of the premises, is entitled to compensation for machinery and equipment on the premises that cannot be removed. Plaintiff asserts that RDA and/or HUD have failed to comply with mandatory procedures set forth in the Policies Act, and that until there is such compliance, plaintiff is entitled to the relief sought.
Plaintiff asserts that RDA and/or HUD have failed to comply with three sections of the Policies Act as follows:
1. Section 301(3). RDA has not provided plaintiff with a written statement of and summary of the basis for the amount established by RDA as just compensation for plaintiff.
2. Section 302. RDA has offered plaintiff no sum for plaintiff's improvements and machinery and equipment installed on the premises.
3. Section 301(6). RDA has refused to adjust the rent charged plaintiff "to reflect the fact that it terminated [plaintiff's] occupancy under its written lease and permitted it to remain solely upon a month to month basis."
Analysis of the Policies Act and its purposes is required. The Policies Act was adopted on January 2, 1971. Counsel have referred to no cases that have interpreted the Act. Some reference to the Legislative History may be helpful.
The Policies Act contains provisions for relocation assistance for displaced persons under Subchapter II. Plaintiff makes no allegation that defendants have failed to comply with any provisions of Subchapter II, nor does plaintiff claim entitlement to any relief under Subchapter II as a displaced person.
Subchapter III, entitled "Uniform Real Property Acquisition Policy", concerns itself primarily with establishing uniform policies and guidelines that federal agencies, having powers of condemnation, are to utilize in all condemnations. Section 301 states in the preamble that "in order to encourage and expedite the acquisition of real property by agreements with owners, to avoid litigation and relieve congestion in the courts, to assure consistent treatment for the owners in the many Federal programs, and to promote public confidence in Federal land acquisition practices, heads of Federal agencies shall, to the greatest extent practicable, be guided by the following policies". Section 305 of the Policies Act makes the guidelines of Section 301 applicable to state agencies receiving federal assistance as to all acquisitions of real property on or after January 2, 1971. Section 305 requires that the head of the federal agency making the grant receive "satisfactory assurances from the State agency" that it will be guided, to the greatest extent practical under state law, by the same acquisition policies as set forth in Section 301.
A reading of the various provisions of the Policies Act leads to the conclusion that the Policies Act did not intend to confer upon parties in the position of plaintiff any right to obtain any relief in the federal courts. Section 102 of the Policies Act provides that the policy guidelines set forth in Section 301 "create no rights or liabilities and shall not affect the validity of any property acquisitions by purchase or condemnation." Section 102 further provides that the Policies Act shall not create "in any condemnation proceedings brought under the power of eminent domain, any element of value or damage not in existence immediately prior to January 2, 1971."
The Legislative History as reported in House Report No. 91-1656, on Section 102 is worth noting:
"[The] provisions of the uniform policy on land acquisition practices, in section 301, do not create any rights or liabilities in any person and do not affect the validity of any acquisition by purchase or condemnation.
"The committee has considered, but does not agree with, proposals which would make the benefits provided by the bill subject to judicial review. The committee agrees with the judgment of the Department of Justice, and others, who believe that this would add an unnecessary burden to the overcrowded courts. The primary purpose of the judicial review proposals is to give recognition to the principle that such benefits should be viewed as administrative payments to displaced persons. The committee believes that this objective can be achieved by the clear language of the bill which makes relocation payments and assistance, and the availability of suitable replacement housing for displaced persons, matters of congressional policy and makes agency heads responsible for faithful execution. Section 213(b)(3) of the bill provides an alternate to judicial review, by requiring the heads of Federal agencies to establish regulations and procedures that will assure any person aggrieved by a determination as to eligibility for a payment authorized by this act, or the amount of the payment, may have his application reviewed by the head of the Federal agency having authority over the project; or in the case of a program receiving Federal financial assistance, by the head of the State agency." U.S. Congressional Code and Adm. News, 1970, pp. 5854 and 5855.