A lawsuit filed by the 1851 Center in federal court in May 2016 claimed the requirement was like a warrant-less search.
In February, Judge Thomas M. Rose in the Southern District of Ohio rejected the pre-sale inspections, granting a refund of inspection fees.
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“Checks will be mailed out on this Friday, January 11, so Oakwood residents and former residents should receive them the next week,” said Executive Director Maurice Thompson of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, which represented the homeowners in the federal suit.
An Oakwood statement said the case centered around a lack 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.”
“Without that language, the ordinance appeared to mandate a minor misdemeanor criminal penalty for refusing an inspection,” the statement said.
In 1992, search warrant language was left out of the ordinance accidentally, according to Oakwood Law Director Rob Jacques.
“This was a scrivener’s error, a drafting mistake, that happened more than 25 years ago,” Jacques said. “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.”
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