Yee v. Escondido, 503 U.S. 519, 7 (1992)

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Cite as: 503 U. S. 519 (1992)

Opinion of the Court

the last rent increase; (4) the cost of any capital improvements related to the pad or pads at issue; (5) changes in property taxes; (6) changes in any rent paid by the park owner for the land; (7) changes in utility charges; (8) changes in operating and maintenance expenses; (9) the need for repairs other than for ordinary wear and tear; (10) the amount and quality of services provided to the affected tenant; and (11) any lawful existing lease. Ordinance 4(g), App. 11-12.

Petitioners John and Irene Yee own the Friendly Hills and Sunset Terrace Mobile Home Parks, both of which are located in the city of Escondido. A few months after the adoption of Escondido's rent control ordinance, they filed suit in San Diego County Superior Court. According to the complaint, "[t]he rent control law has had the effect of depriving the plaintiffs of all use and occupancy of [their] real property and granting to the tenants of mobilehomes presently in The Park, as well as the successors in interest of such tenants, the right to physically permanently occupy and use the real property of Plaintiff." Id., at 3, ¶ 6. The Yees requested damages of $6 million, a declaration that the rent control ordinance is unconstitutional, and an injunction barring the ordinance's enforcement. Id., at 5-6.

In their opposition to the city's demurrer, the Yees relied almost entirely on Hall v. Santa Barbara, 833 F. 2d 1270 (CA9 1987), cert. denied, 485 U. S. 940 (1988), which had held that a similar mobile home rent control ordinance effected a physical taking under Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan CATV Corp., 458 U. S. 419 (1982). The Yees candidly admitted that "in fact, the Hall decision was used [as] a guide in drafting the present Complaint." 2 Tr. 318, Points & Authorities in Opposition to Demurrer 4. The Superior Court nevertheless sustained the city's demurrer and dismissed the Yees' complaint. App. to Pet. for Cert. C-42.

The Yees were not alone. Eleven other park owners filed similar suits against the city shortly afterwards, and all were

525

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