Picture of Matthew D. Hinks

Matthew Hinks is a partner in JMBM's litigation and land use departments. Matt has two decades of experience litigating difficult and high profile land use, property rights and real estate disputes in state and federal courts throughout California. Matt has special expertise dealing with land use disputes involving property owners and governmental agencies, including disputes arising under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Subdivision Map Act, the Housing Accountability Act, Density Bonus Law, Planning and Zoning Law and other federal, state and local land use statutes, regulations and ordinances. Matt also regularly litigates cases involving real estate issues, civil rights, takings, signage and related issues. 

He is a contributing author to the California Land Use Blog

Matt's courage under fire is perhaps best exemplified by his service to our country as a combat medic in the United States Army, having served in Germany and later in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait as part of Operation Desert Storm. He was awarded at various times with the Expert Field Medical Badge, the Combat Medical Badge, the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal.

Representative Successes

  • Prevailed at trial in groundbreaking Housing Accountability Act lawsuit resulting in Court-ordered approval of mixed use real estate development including 577 housing units along major transit lines.
  • Obtained published Ninth Circuit opinion invalidating County of Ventura ordinance regulating commercial wedding venues on First Amendment grounds, as well as subsequent grant of injunction and summary judgment establishing governmental liability for Section 1983 Civil Rights violations.
  • Prevailed at trial in difficult and high profile land use case alleging fair hearing and due process violations.
  • Prevailed on summary judgment in enforcement action brought by the People of the State of California alleging claims against owner of multi-family beachfront property offering short-term rental accommodations.
  • Prevailed on demurrer on res judicata grounds on claims alleging violations of the Los Angeles Municipal Code; affirmed on appeal.
  • Prevailed on appeal in hotly-contested land use case involving municipal law and construction claims 
  • Prevailed at trial on behalf of property owner in high profile land use dispute brought against City of Los Angeles involving residential construction project in Benedict Canyon.
  • Prevailed in high profile CEQA dispute involving municipality's certification of Environmental Impact Report for large-scale mining operation.
  • Prevailed on behalf of sign company client in action brought by criminal branch of Los Angeles City Attorney's Office alleging nuisance and business and professions code claims arising out of installation of signage.
  • Prevailed at trial in action against New Motor Vehicle Board for automobile client, obtaining first writ of mandate to be issued against the Board in almost two decades.
  • Prevailed at trial on behalf of real estate developer in first density bonus case brought against City of Los Angeles under State Density Bonus Law, SB 1818.
  • Won federal court injunction on First Amendment grounds against application of City of San Francisco's sign ordinances. Affirmed by Ninth Circuit on appeal.

Representative Court of Appeals opinions

  • Epona, LLC. v. County of Ventura, 876 F.3d 1214 (9th Cir. 2017) (invalidating County condition use permit ordinance on First Amendment grounds).
  • Samatas v. City of Los Angeles, No. B293811, 2019 WL 5558069 (Cal. App. 2019) (planning and zoning law claims).
  • Armato v. City of Manhattan Beach, 2018 WL 1312046 (Cal. App. 2018) (planning and zoning law claims)
  • Brentwood Stakeholders All. for Better Living & Sensible Planning v. City of Los Angeles, 2016 WL 1708313 (Cal. App. 2016) (CEQA)
  • Jack v. City of Los Angeles, 2020 WL 831861 (Cal. App. 2020) (CEQA).
  • McCorkle Eastside Neighborhood Grp. v. City of St. Helena, 31 Cal. App. 5th 80 (2019) (CEQA).
  • Beverlywood Homes Ass'n v. City of Los Angeles, 2018 WL 6259486  (Cal. App. 2018) (planning and zoning law and CEQA claims).
  • Levi Family P'ship, L.P. v. City of Los Angeles, 241 Cal. App. 4th 123 (2015) (planning and zoning law claims)
  • City of Duarte v. City of Azusa, 2013 WL 605453 (Cal. App. 2013) (CEQA).
  • Wecker v. City of Los Angeles, 2009 WL 5109557 (Cal. App. 2009) (planning and zoning law).
  • PR/JSM Rivara LLC v. Community Redevelopment Agency of City of Los Angeles, 180 Cal. App. 4th 1475 (2009) (community redevelopment law).
  • Allison-Zongker, LP v. CHLN , Inc., 2008 WL 1765049 (Cal. App. 2008) (commercial lease).


J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law, 1998

B.A., University of Southern California, 1995
magna cum laude

Bar Admissions State Bar of California
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
State Courts of California
Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
Land Use Blog