Defending Rights of Tenants with Disabilities. In August 1999, Attorney General Lockyer obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prohibit a Walnut Creek landlord from refusing to allow two disabled tenants to install air conditioners considered necessary for their medical conditions. Doctors for the tenants had determined that, for health and safety reasons, the tenants' apartments had to be cooled to temperatures that could not be maintained without the installation of the window air conditioners.

Anti-Discrimination Protections. In Thomas v. City of Anchorage, et al. , the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Alaska state and city laws prohibiting discrimination against unmarried couple could not be enforced against landlords who, for religious reasons, refuse to rent to unmarried cohabiting couples. On January 28, 1999, Attorney General Lockyer filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit in support of the State of Alaska's request for rehearing and its suggestion for a hearing en banc. The states of Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington joined in that brief. When a hearing en banc was granted, the Attorney General filed a second amicus brief. Both briefs argue that the landlords' religious beliefs must yield to the relevant fair housing laws. The Ninth Circuit, while not reaching the merits of the case, issued an opinion in which it dismissed the landlords' complaint.

Protecting Redress Rights. In Konig v. Fair Employment & Housing Commission, Attorney General Lockyer defended the state law that empowers California's fair housing agency to award damages for emotional distress suffered by victims of housing discrimination. The trial court held this statute unconstitutional. The Court of Appeal affirmed. Attorney General Lockyer successfully petitioned the State's high court to hear this case. On July 29, 2002, the Court reversed the lower courts and held that the Commission may, without violating the California Constitution, award damages for emotional distress to victims of housing discrimination.

Discrimination Investigations. In Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. Superior Court of Stanislaus County, the Attorney General won reversal of a trial court ruling that would have made it more difficult to investigate cases of housing discrimination. The department had been investigating allegations of housing discrimination based on race and marital status. The subject of the investigation refused to turn over tenant and applicant records and obtained a trial court ruling that disclosure would violate the rights of third parties. The Court of Appeal overruled the decision, finding that the right to privacy did not bar production of the rental records.

Expanded Affordable Housing. On March 25, 2002, Attorney General Lockyer entered into a settlement agreement to ensure low- and moderate-income housing funds are used properly. The settlement concluded an investigation of a redevelopment agency that had improperly used its funds. The redevelopment agency agreed to repay almost $800,000 to its low and moderate income housing fund.