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Pennell v. San Jose

Supreme Court of the United States

November 10, 1987, Argued ; February 24, 1988, Decided

No. 86-753


 [*4]  [***9]  [**853]    CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.

 The case involves a challenge to a rent control ordinance enacted by the City of San Jose, California, that allows a hearing officer to consider, among other factors, the "hardship to a tenant" when determining whether to approve a rent increase proposed by a landlord. Appellants Richard Pennell and the Tri-County Apartment House Owners Association sued in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County seeking a declaration that the ordinance, in particular the "tenant hardship" provisions, are "facially unconstitutional and therefore . . . illegal and void." The Superior Court entered judgment on the pleadings in favor of appellants, sustaining their claim that the tenant hardship provisions violated the Takings Clause of  [****6]  the 5th and 14th Amendments. The California Court of Appeal affirmed this judgment, 201 Cal. Rptr. 728 (1984), but the Supreme Court of California reversed, 42 Cal. 3d 365, 721 P. 2d, 1111 (1986), each by a divided vote. The majority of the Supreme Court rejected appellants' arguments under the Takings Clause of the 5th and 14th Amendments and the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the 14th Amendment; the dissenters in that court thought that the tenant hardship provisions were a "forced subsidy imposed on the landlord" in violation of the Takings Clause. Id., at 377, 721 P. 2d, at 1119. On appellants' appeal to this Court we postponed consideration of the question of jurisdiction, 480 U. S. 905 (1987), and now having heard oral argument we affirm the judgment of the Supreme Court of California.

The City of San Jose enacted its rent control ordinance (Ordinance) in 1979 with the stated purpose of

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485 U.S. 1 *; 108 S. Ct. 849 **; 99 L. Ed. 2d 1 ***; 1988 U.S. LEXIS 945 ****; 56 U.S.L.W. 4168

Richard Pennell and Tri-County Apartment House Owners Association, Appellants v. City of San Jose and City Council of San Jose


Disposition:  42 Cal. 3d 365, 721 P. 2d 1111, affirmed.


tenant, Ordinance, hardship, rent, landlords, regulation, hearing officer, surface mining, factors, rent increase, premature, housing, appellants', cases, rental, provisions, rent control, effects, economic hardship, just compensation, facial challenge, constitutes, accomplished, facial, merits, priced, reasonable rent, a landlord, circumstances, renters

Real Property Law, Landlord & Tenant, Rent Regulation, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Justiciability, Standing, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Preliminary Considerations, Landlord's Remedies & Rights, Rent Recovery, Constitutionality of Legislation, Energy & Utilities Law, Mining Claims, Surface Mining Control & Reclamation Act, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Governments, Local Governments, Police Power, Substantive Due Process, Scope, Police Powers, Bill of Rights, Eminent Domain & Takings, Inverse Condemnation, Constitutional Issues, Utility Companies, Natural Gas Industry, Natural Gas Act, Equal Protection, Nature & Scope of Protection, Judicial Review, Standards of Review