Industry News

Judge gives green light to FSBO lawsuit

Rejects request to dismiss controversial case

A federal judge in Sacramento this week rejected the California Department of Real Estate's attempt to dismiss a First Amendment lawsuit brought by ForSaleByOwner.com. The suit claims the state's law that requires the FSBO company to obtain a real estate broker's license to legally conduct business in the state is unfair. ForSaleByOwner is expected to file motions for summary judgment in the case by this summer. Trial, if necessary, will be held early next year. The lawsuit was filed in May 2003, after ForSaleByOwner, a Web-based real estate advertising company, refused to go along with the state's demand that online real estate advertising companies be licensed real estate brokers. The state asked that the case be dismissed, arguing that its effort to license real estate advertising and information Web sites was a routine exercise of its power to license entry into a profession and is directed at "conduct" rather than speech, according to ForSaleByOwner's legal representation, th...