Florida Interior Design

Locke v. Shore
Challenging Florida’s Unconstitutional Interior Design Law

IJ Clients Eva Locke and Pat Levenson

FL Interior Design Video

WATCH: Free to Design: Florida Entrepreneurs Take On the Interior Design Cartel

practice-act-map.jpg

DOWNLOAD: Interior Design Practice Act Map

Florida is ground zero in the nationwide battle to cartelize the interior design industry.

A small group of well-funded industry insiders led by the American Society of Interior Designers has been relentless in its pursuit of ever more restrictive laws. Studies have shown that interior design regulations result in higher prices, less variety, and fewer employment opportunities, especially for minorities and older mid-career switchers.

On May 26, 2009, the Institute for Justice joined with three interior designers—Eva Locke, Pat Levenson and Barbara Gardner—and the National Federation of Independent Business to file a lawsuit in federal court in Tallahassee challenging Florida's interior design law.

Florida's law is a blatant abuse of government power that stifles speech and entrepreneurship to protect a favored industry from honest competition. The trial court struck down a portion of the law that prohibited unlicensed interior designers from truthfully advertising services they were lawfully permitted to perform. Unfortunately, the trial court upheld the law's limitations on who could practice nonresidential interior design, but did so only after interpreting the law to cover a very narrow range of prohibited activities. The Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that ruling and, on January 9, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the case. As a result, the law remains in place, but has been severely weakened.

 
 
 
 
 

Essential Background

Images

Backgrounder: Challenging Florida’s Unconstitutional Interior Design Law

Client Photo - none available

Client Video

Launch Release: Florida’s Interior Design Cartel Challenged in Court (May 27, 2009)

Legal Briefs and Decisions

Download: Institute for Justice Complaint (filed 5/26/09) (PDF)

Download: BOAID Answer to  Plaintiff's complaint (filed 6/30/09) (PDF)
Latest Release: U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Important Free Speech Case (January 9, 2012) Download: Preliminary Injunction Order (filed 8/17/09) (PDF)

Download: Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (filed 12/11/09) (PDF)

Download: Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment (filed 12/11/09) (PDF)
 Public Records

Time index of March 15, 2010 committee hearing on PCB BCAS 11-01 (PDF)

Download: Plaintiffs' Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (filed 1/14/10) (PDF)
Download Audio: Board of Architecture and Interior Design, March 16, 2010 General Board Meeting or listen via our onsite audio player (Partial Transcript) Download: Defendants' Response to Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment (filed 1/4/10) (PDF)
Documents from BOAID re Inquiries seeking clarification of Feb. 4, 2010 Ruling_Part 1 (Nos. 000001-000048) (PDF) Download: Plaintiffs' Reply to Defendants' Response to Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment (filed 1/11/10) (PDF)  
Documents from BOAID re Inquiries seeking clarification of Feb. 4, 2010 Ruling_Part 2 (Nos. 000049-000110) (PDF)

Download: Defendants' Reply to Plaintiffs' Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (filed 1/11/10) (PDF)

Documents from BOAID re Inquiries seeking clarification of Feb. 4, 2010 Ruling_Part 3 (Nos. 000111-000170) (PDF) Download: Appellants' Opening Brief (filed 4/19/10) (PDF)
Documents from BOAID re Inquiries seeking clarification of Feb. 4, 2010 Ruling_Part 5 (Nos. 000171-000235) (PDF) Download: Interior Design Protection Council, et al. Amicus Brief  (filed 4/26/10) (PDF) 
Documents from BOAID re Inquiries seeking clarification of Feb. 4, 2010 Ruling_Part 5 (Nos. 000236-000317) (PDF) Download: Office Furniture Dealers Alliance, et al. Amicus Brief (filed 4/26/10) (PDF)  
Documents from BOAID re Inquiries seeking clarification of Feb. 4, 2010 Ruling_Part 6 (Nos. 000318-000399) (PDF) Download: Answer Brief of Appellees (filed 6/1/10) (PDF)  
 Florida Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senate Staff Analysis and Economic Impact Statement, S. CS/CS/SB 127, 20th Sess. (May 1988)  (PDF) Download: American Society of Interior Designers, Inc. Amicus Brief in Support of Appellees (filed 6/7/10) (PDF)
Download: National Council for Interior Design Qualification, Inc. Amicus Brief in Support of Appellees (filed 6/7/10) (PDF)
Download: Appellants' Reply Brief (filed 6/15/10) (PDF)
Download: Petition for Rehearing En Banc Or Alternatively for Panel Rehearing (filed 3/22/2011) (PDF)
Download: Interior Design Protection Council, et al. Amicus Brief In Support of Petition for Rehearing En Banc Or Alternatively for Panel Rehearing (filed 4/18/2011) (PDF)
Download: Office Furniture Dealers Alliance, et al. Amicus Brief In Support of Petition for Rehearing En Banc Or Alternatively for Panel Rehearing (filed 4/18/2011) (PDF)
Download: Petition for Certiorari  (PDF)
Download: IDPC Amicus Brief
Download: NKBA Amicus Brief
Download: PLF-Cato Amicus Brief 
Download: PLF-Cato Amicus Brief 
Download: Respondents' Brief In Opposition
Download: Reply Brief for Petitioners
 

Supporting Documents
Parties' Joint Pretrial Stipulation
Documents Supporting Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment
Additional Supporting Documents

Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit: 

 

May 27, 2009

Court Filed:

 

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida

Decision(s):

 

February 4, 2010: U.S. District Robert Hinkle strikes down advertising restrictions, but upholds restrictions on who may practice nonresidential interior design Opinion on the Merits (2/4/10) (PDF)
 
March 1, 2011: 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirms Judge Hinkle's ruling. Appellate Opinion (3/1/11) (PDF)
 
May 3, 2011: 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denies petition for rehearing en banc.

January 9, 2012: U.S. Supreme Court declines review of case.

Next Key Date:

 

Case concluded

 

Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

Latest Release:U.S. Supreme Court Considers Whether to Hear Important Free Speech Case Appeal Asks if First Amendment Protects Right to Speak for a Living (January 6, 2012) State Interior Design Studies
Release: Important Free Speech Case Appealed to U.S. Supreme Court (September 15, 2011) Download: Interior Design Practice Act Map (PDF)

Release: Florida Legislature Puts Special Interests Ahead of Economic Opportunity, Fails to Deregulate Interior Design (May 9, 2011)

Designing Cartels: How Industry Insiders Cut Out Competition

Release: Despite No Evidence, Federal Court Upholds Florida Law That Puts Interior Designers Out of Business(March 2, 2011)


Release: Florida Interior Designers Free to Speak, Practice(February 10, 2010)

 

See all IJ's interior design cases

Release: Florida Interior Designers Free to Speak About Their Services; Judge Forbids State Board of Architecture and Interior Design From Enforcing Titling Provisions of Florida Interior Design Law (August 10, 2009)

 

Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Video: IJ's Chip Mellor Discusses Government Mandated Licensing With John Stossel (3 of 3); Stossel (March 26, 2010)

Article: Freedom Shines for Florida Interior Designers Liberty & Law (October 2009)

Article: Curtains for the Interior Design Cartel? Liberty & Law (June 2009)

Video: Free to Design: Florida Entrepreneurs Take On the Interior Design Cartel; (May 26, 2009)



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