The Zion lawsuit survived the routine motion to dismiss
Although I'm sympathetic to the argument that an owner is more likely to properly care for a property than a renter, I do note that I have a few tenants who take better care of our rental properties than I do of my own home....
Robert and Dorice Pierce, the tenant plaintiffs challenging Zion’s ordinance, have called their Zion apartment home since 2000. They sent a letter to the city objecting to an inspection and demanded a warrant. Zion ignored that request, choosing not to respect their personal privacy and to threaten their landlord, Josefina Lozano, with ruinous fines.
In Zion’s attempt to dismiss the lawsuit, it argued that tenants challenging the ordinance lack standing to sue, even though they had been threatened with warrantless searches, because the inspections have not been conducted yet. The city argued that because of this, the plaintiffs suffered no injury. This is a dangerous argument because it would force anyone challenging a violation of their rights to first suffer the violation before they can sue to stop it.
Judge John F. Kness shot down that argument, declaring that, “at any point, the City could choose to bypass the administrative warrant and move directly to levy compounding fees on Plaintiffs. With regard to standing, the administrative warrant option is a chimera that fails to eliminate Plaintiffs’ ‘substantial risk’ of injury.”
Landlord plaintiff Josefina Lozano celebrated the news, saying, “I was very pleased that the judge immediately went to the heart of the matter that Zion chooses to punish landlords with this ordinance.”
In 2015, when the city passed its rental inspection ordinance, the mayor at that time blamed the city’s poor financial health on an “overabundance of non-owner-occupied rental property.” Renters, he asserted, “often do not take care of their property like homeowners do, so this ordinance targets rentals only.” But individuals’ constitutional right to privacy in their home does not depend on government preferences for homeowners over renters. All persons enjoy that right equally.
“Your home is your castle, and if the government wants to look through it, it must obtain a warrant,” said IJ Nutjob Rob Peccola. “We are thrilled that the court saw through Zion’s attempt to get rid of this lawsuit.”
Now the lawsuit will move on to discovery, and the tenants will seek a judgment from the court declaring Zion’s inspection program unconstitutional.
This lawsuit survived the usual motion to dismiss.Administrative Searches and Article 1, Section 8 of the Iowa Constitution
Amanda Wink, another plaintiff in the lawsuit, emphasized that the ordinance treats renters as second-class citizens.
“Me renting a house is no different than owning a house. My privacy shouldn’t be any less important,” Amanda said.
Hmmm. The court hasn't really done that yet. Dismissal would have been a major loss, but the judge said that for both issues raised, it was significant that the law in question required inspections to occur. Had they been discretionary, he said, his conclusion may have been different....
In April, the coalition of tenants and landlords objected to these inspections, stating their constitutional rights were being violated. Orange City defiantly asserted in May its intention to press forward with the inspections. In its attempt to dismiss the lawsuit, Orange City argued that the inspections have not occurred yet and that they cannot be challenged until the tenants have already had their privacy rights violated.
Chief Judge Patrick H. Tott shot down that argument in his opinion, writing: “If the Plaintiffs are required to wait until the inspection is in process, they will have little, or likely no, recourse to the Courts to prevent the injury(ies) they assert they will suffer to their privacy rights.”
“We are thrilled that the Iowa District Court recognized the strong property rights provided by the Iowa Constitution,” IJ Attorney Rob Peccola said. “Orange City should not be able to use ‘administrative warrants’ to force its way into people’s homes.”
We have two houses, one with my office and the other with my wife's two offices. There are some record-keeping requirements on all of our businesses. No more fourth amendment, I guess. At least until the nutjobs arrive at SCOTUS and win again....
“My shop and the home where my children are schooled are right next to each other and I’m concerned about people coming by unannounced, whether they are law enforcement or not,” said Jeremy. “I don’t feel that just because you open up a business you give up your constitutional right to property and privacy.”
For years, Jeremy had a smooth relationship with ODNR officers. Taxidermy and deer processing are not regulated by Ohio, which only requires that Jeremy and others keep records of the animals they work on. However, after a personnel change, Jeremy found that inspections became more intrusive. He was even told by an officer once that, “Everybody does something wrong, I just have to find out what you’ve done.”
During peak hunting season, Jeremy closes his taxidermy space and works solely on deer processing. After an hour-long inspection in December 2020, an officer asked to enter the closed taxidermy area. Jeremy asked him to return in a few weeks when he had resumed working on taxidermy, and the officer left without objecting. But a few months later, Jeremy was criminally prosecuted and threatened with jail time for “refusing” the officer warrantless entry into his taxidermy shop. Jeremy ultimately agreed to plead no contest and pay a fine of $150.
Neither Jeremy, nor any other business owner, should have to live in fear of criminal prosecution just for asking a government official to come back later. The Fourth Amendment protects non-public areas of businesses from unreasonable searches. And while the Supreme Court has created a narrow exception for a small number of “closely regulated” businesses, all Jeremy is required to do is keep records.
“If a recordkeeping requirement is all it takes to justify warrantless inspections of Jeremy’s business, then few if any businesses would be protected by the Fourth Amendment,” said IJ Nutjob Joe Gay. “Fortunately, the Supreme Court has sent a strong message that what’s happening to Jeremy violates the Fourth Amendment, and we look forward to explaining that in court.”
Rest easy, America!
I suspect the Washington State legislature understands that having government inspectors barge into the homes of renters for their own good is beneficial and only nutjobs really see it as a problem, so I doubt reforms will be forthcoming.Yesterday, the Washington State Supreme Court denied review of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Seattle law that requires tenants to submit to warrantless inspections of their homes. The lawsuit, which was brought by the Institute for Justice (IJ) on behalf of a group of Seattle renters and landlords, argued that the law was a clear violation of the Washington state constitution’s mandate that “[n]o person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.”
“Seattle treats renters who wish to protect their privacy from government-mandated inspectors as second-class citizens,” said Institute for Justice Nutjob Robert Peccola, who represented the plaintiffs. “For many Seattle residents, owning a home is not an option. For them, this law remains an invasive violation of the constitutional right to privacy. With the court’s denial, the onus is now on state lawmakers to put an end of warrantless rental inspections in every city in this state.”
You're asking the party (and lawyers) of big gov't intrusion to defend your rights? Thought you had more smarts than that. Hell, they're about to take away a right from 1/2 the population, and are saying things like "it's no big deal, pop the kid out, drop off at the rescue center, and you'll be back on the job that afternoon"Rest easy, America!
Following Reforms, Washington Supreme Court Lets Seattle’s Invasive Inspection Law Stand
I suspect the Washington State legislature understands that having government inspectors barge into the homes of renters for their own good is beneficial and only nutjobs really see it as a problem, so I doubt reforms will be forthcoming.
"And no, we won't support you financially, medically, or emotionally even though we mandate you have to do it".You're asking the party (and lawyers) of big gov't intrusion to defend your rights? Thought you had more smarts than that. Hell, they're about to take away a right from 1/2 the population, and are saying things like "it's no big deal, pop the kid out, drop off at the rescue center, and you'll be back on the job that afternoon"
There's more than one such party.You're asking the party (and lawyers) of big gov't intrusion to defend your rights?I suspect the Washington State legislature understands that having government inspectors barge into the homes of renters for their own good is beneficial and only nutjobs really see it as a problem, so I doubt reforms will be forthcoming.
Hell, they could set up baby drops on the buses. Save a lot of time and energy. Maybe process the babies straight to jail to save time as well.Maybe they'll set up the infant drop-off centers close to major bus lines. Wouldn't want the workers to miss their shift now, would we?
Renters are sort of human too.It's a wonderful and internally consistent political theory. Just like Marxist communism.
And, just like Marxism/communism, doesn't apply to human beings.
I think renters could find fourth amendment rights useful. Why do you disagree?Libertarianism is like the Flat Earther's beliefs, in that the theory can be dressed up to sound compelling but it's never been useful in practice.
I'm really not afraid of renters at all, though I admit to some trepidation when my phone rings on a Saturday night and Caller ID shows a tenant's name. Why do you think hate and revenge against everything that scares us motivates nutjobs to protect the fourth amendment rights of renters?Would the libertarians be stoked about a new military force in Florida? Must be confusing. Nothing says big overbearing government quite like the military on street corners. But then again, it would appeal to their actual agenda of hate and revenge against everything that scares them.
The notion that the fourth amendment should protect people in their homes, whether they rent or own. Why are we wrong?What tenet of libertarianism causes the dreamers to foist their crazy on others?
Is it really so complicated?Could not parse your rant about the 4th Amendment and renters. Maybe later.
I let my Koch contract lapse after the 2020 election. Cannot help you with your wondering. I'm not involved in WA issues. Might be something there. Are these public safety and health inspections? Probably not grounds for an insurrection at the state capitol. But that is up to the citizens of WA. "Landlords Unchained" sounds like a good libertarian flick.Is it really so complicated?
Following Reforms, Washington Supreme Court Lets Seattle’s Invasive Inspection Law Stand
I'm just wondering why the Koch-$pon$ored nutjobs are wrong about this issue?
I think that logorrhea Tom, would have been afar better word choice for your username.The lack of celebration in this thread is downright weird.
An assault on benevolent government by Koch-$pon$ored nutjobs was just turned back by the Washington Supreme Court and there's no joy among all the noisy opponents of libertarians?
Renters are sort of human too.
It's true. I don't appreciate or understand why the fourth amendment should apply to home owners but not renters.
I think renters could find fourth amendment rights useful. Why do you disagree?
I'm really not afraid of renters at all, though I admit to some trepidation when my phone rings on a Saturday night and Caller ID shows a tenant's name. Why do you think hate and revenge against everything that scares us motivates nutjobs to protect the fourth amendment rights of renters?
The notion that the fourth amendment should protect people in their homes, whether they rent or own. Why are we wrong?
For someone so eager to opine on how horrible it would be if libertarians got their way, you're awfully disinterested when they nearly did. Didn't read a word of this thread before responding, huh? Let me guess: because you already know everything?Are these public safety and health inspections?
Still haven't read, huh?Many adopt libertarianism as merely a scholarly way to present their hate and misanthropy. That's what I always thought of Buckley, et al: Pompous learned assholes.
Yes, I'll spoon feed you at least that much. Of course government inspectors are barging into renters' homes for their own good, as mentioned above. Some ingrates don't see the wisdom of the policy and prefer a right to privacy. Must be motivated by hate and misanthropy, right?Are these public safety and health inspections?
Except for spelling, I don't think so...This might appear to be seperating people into some kind of "Class System" ,
, with homeowners having the normal right to privacy of the Fourth.
, and the (lower class?) renters NOT having a right to privacy "for theit own good"
? am I missing something here ?