The city updated the ordinance earlier this year in order to comply with the law.
“At issue in the case was the absence of a search warrant provision in the ordinance that would allow for independent judicial review in the event that a property owner refused consent for the inspection,” read a statement from the city. “Without that language, the ordinance appeared to mandate a minor misdemeanor criminal penalty for refusing an inspection.”
In 1992, search warrant language was left out of the ordinance accidentally.
“This was a scrivener's error, a drafting mistake, that happened more than 25 years ago,” said City Law Director Rob Jacques. “Despite the court's finding of liability, the ordinance was never implemented in an unconstitutional manner and the city never had so much as a single complaint prior to this lawsuit.”