TOWN ORDINANCE REQUIRING OWNERS TO ALLOW MUNICIPAL INSPECTIONS FOUND TO VIOLATE FOURTH AMENDMENT

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., a NJ Landlord Tenant Attorney

 
The Fourth Amendment protects us all against illegal searches and seizures. The NJ Courts enforced this right against illegal searches in a recent case involving a town ordinance that required all property owners to allow municipal officers to inspect their property. If the owner declined to allow the municipal inspection, they would be subject to prosecution and penalties, said the ordinance.
While some property searches against owners’ wishes are allowed in limited instances, the NJ Court held that this law was not one of those instances. The Court stated that the property that was the subject of the lawsuit was not involved in a highly regulated industry, such as liquor sales, gambling, or trucking. Had it been, the Court might have found an exception to the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches. The NJ Court also stated it was irrelevant that the property in question was used for commercial purposes, as opposed to residential purposes, saying this distinction did not reduce the Constitutional safeguards offered by the Fourth Amendment against illegal searches.

Contact me personally to discuss your NJ Landlord or Tenant matter. I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns. You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or email me at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com/.

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