A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed against the City of Euclid in Ohio by an investment company that alleges agents for the defendant entered its property with “no probable cause and no lawful basis to believe that there was any risk to public health and safety.”
The 10-page lawsuit explains City of Euclid ordinances allow for the warrantless inspections of private properties prior to a property’s sale, rental, or renewal of a rental license. In fact, the case says, Euclid law states that no person can sell or rent his or her property without first having said property undergo a warrantless government search. Those who fail to comply with such inspections face the threat of criminal prosecution, the suit states. According to the plaintiff, Euclid agents entered its property on August 14, 2014, despite the absence of any probable cause or lawful basis for entry. Moreover, the defendant required the plaintiff to pay a $100 inspection fee in connection with entry to its property, the suit adds.
The defendant has allegedly conducted many similar property inspections throughout Euclid, collecting fees from property owners each time, in an unlawful scheme by which the city uses the threat of criminal prosecution to effectively strong-arm property owners into paying the city’s inspection fees.
“This is the exact scheme that the United States Supreme Court and Ohio courts have consistently found to violate the law,” the suit argues, citing court cases against San Francisco, Cincinnati and others over similar claims.