Yee v. City of Escondido

PETITIONER: Yee et al.
RESPONDENT: City of Escondido
LOCATION: Etowah County Commission

DOCKET NO.: 90-1947
DECIDED BY: Rehnquist Court (1991-1993)
LOWER COURT: State appellate court

CITATION: 503 US 519 (1992)
ARGUED: Jan 22, 1992
DECIDED: Apr 01, 1992

ADVOCATES:
Carter G. Phillips - on behalf of the Respondent
Robert J. Jagiello - on behalf of the Petitioners

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Yee v. City of Escondido

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 22, 1992 in Yee v. City of Escondido

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - April 01, 1992 in Yee v. City of Escondido

William H. Rehnquist:

The opinion of the Court in No. 90-1947, Yee versus City of Escondido will be announced by Justice O'Connor.

Sandra Day O'Connor:

This case is here on certiorari to the California Court of Appeals.

The petitioners own mobile home parks in Escondido, California.

The City has a local rent control ordinance applicable to mobile home parks.

In this suit against the City, the petitioners alleged that the city rent control ordinance in conjunction with California's mobile home residency law amounts to a physical occupation of their land because it enables tenants to remain on the land indefinitely at below market rent.

They contend that the ordinance on its face constitutes a taking of their property under the Fifth Amendment entitling them to compensation.

The California Superior Court dismissed the petitioner's complaint and the California Court of Appeal affirmed.

In an opinion filed today, we affirm the judgment.

A land owner has a per se right to compensation under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment for the physical occupational of his land only where the government requires the land owner to submit to physical occupation.

Because the petitioners have voluntarily rented their land to others and because the ordinance on its face neither compels petitioners to let others on their land nor requires them to continue renting their property once they have chosen to do so.

Petitioners cannot assert a per se right to compensation under the Takings Clause.

Rather than authorizing the physical occupation of petitioner's property, the ordinance instead regulates the use of petitioner's property.

Petitioner's takings claim must therefore be assessed under our jurisprudence applicable to regulatory takings not as a physical taking automatically giving rise to compensation.

For the reasons stated in the opinion, we find that petitioner's regulatory takings argument is not properly before the court.

Justice Blackmun and Justice Souter have each filed opinions concurring in the judgment.