Lawsuits Filed in Ohio Federal Courts Challenging Constitutionality of Point of Sale Inspections

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Source: Ohio Association of Realtors

By Peg Ritenour, OAR Vice President of Legal Services/Administration 

Two lawsuits have been filed in Ohio federal courts challenging the constitutionality of ordinances requiring point of sale inspections. The first lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Northern District, Eastern Division seeking to enjoin the City of Bedford, a Cleveland suburb, from enforcing an ordinance that requires an inspection prior to the sale of a home. The second suit, filed in the U.S. Southern District, Western Division, seeks the same relief from the point of sale ordinance of the City of Oakwood, a Dayton suburb. The lawsuit claims that such inspections violate the Fourth Amendment, because they subject homeowners to a warrantless search of their property.

In the Bedford case one of the plaintiffs is a property owner selling a rental home he owns to his daughter, who currently resides in the property, and the other plaintiff is a landlord selling his rental property to the current tenant. Both lawsuits were filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, which also filed the successful challenge to the City of Portsmouth ordinance in the case Baker v. Portsmouth. In that case, the federal court declared warrantless inspections of rental homes to be unconstitutional.

To read more about these lawsuits and to watch a short video explaining the basis for the constitutional challenge, click here.

OAR will keep you posted on developments in these cases.

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