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HOMETOWN CO-OP. APARTMENTS v. CITY OF HOMETOWN
May 26, 1981
HOMETOWN CO-OPERATIVE APARTMENTS, AN ILLINOIS NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
CITY OF HOMETOWN, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Aspen, District Judge:
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Hometown Co-operative Apartments, an Illinois
not-for-profit corporation, brought this action pursuant to
the Civil Rights Act of 1871, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
challenging the constitutionality of an amendment to the
municipal building code of defendant, the City of Hometown,
Illinois, making it unlawful for a new owner or lessee of
residential property to occupy the premises unless a
certificate of housing inspection without any deficiencies has
been issued for the property within the prior three
months.*fn1 The ordinance provides that the building
department is to issue a certificate of inspection within
fourteen days after gaining access to the property whether by
consent or by warrant.*fn2 Each day of occupancy without a
valid certificate of inspection constitutes a separate offense
punishable by a fine of not less than ten nor more than five
Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief against the enforcement of
the ordinance and a declaratory judgment that the ordinance
authorizes unreasonable searches in violation of the fourth
amendment as applied to the states through the fourteenth
amendment due process clause.*fn4 This matter is presently
before the Court on the parties' cross-motions for summary
judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. The parties agree, and
we so find, that there are no material facts in dispute and
that the question before the Court is of a purely legal
This is not the first time these parties have been before
the Court with respect to the constitutionality of a Hometown
ordinance that authorizes point of sale inspections of
residential property. Last year, this Court held that the
predecessor of Hometown's present ordinance was
"unconstitutional under the fourth amendment insofar as it
fail[ed] to provide for a warrant as a prerequisite for the
point of sale inspection." Hometown Cooperative Apartments v.
City of Hometown, 495 F. Supp. 55, 60 (N.D.Ill. 1980).*fn5
Following our ruling, the City of Hometown amended its
ordinance by specifically providing that:
(e) [w]here no consent has been given to enter
or inspect any property, no entry or inspection
shall be made without the procurement of a
warrant from the Circuit Court of Cook County.
The Court may consider any of the following
factors along with such other matters as it deems
pertinent in its decision as to whether a warrant
1. Eyewitness account of violation.
4. Plain view violations.
5. Violations apparent from City records.
6. Property deterioration.
8. Nature of alleged violation.
9. Similar properties in the ...
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