Appellant was charged with violating the San Francisco Housing
Code for refusing, after three efforts by city housing inspectors
to secure his consent, to allow a warrantless inspection of the
ground-floor quarters which he leased and residential use of which
allegedly violated the apartment building's occupancy permit.
Claiming the inspection ordinance unconstitutional for failure to
require a warrant for inspections, appellant while awaiting trial,
sued in a State Superior Court for a writ of prohibition, which the
court denied. Relying on Frank v. Maryland, 359 U.
, and similar cases, the District Court of Appeal
affirmed, holding that the ordinance did not violate the Fourth
Amendment. The State Supreme Court denied a petition for
1. The Fourth Amendment bars prosecution of a person who has
refused to permit a warrantless code enforcement inspection of his
personal residence. Frank v. Maryland, supra, pro tanto
overruled. Pp. 387 U. S.
(a) The basic purpose of the Fourth Amendment, which is
enforceable against the States through the Fourteenth, through its
prohibition of "unreasonable" searches and seizures is to safeguard
the privacy and security of individuals against arbitrary invasions
by governmental officials. P. 387 U. S.
(b) With certain carefully defined exceptions, an unconsented
warrantless search of private property is "unreasonable." Pp.
387 U. S.
(c) Contrary to the assumption of Frank v. Maryland,
Fourth Amendment interests are not merely "peripheral"
where municipal fire, health, and housing inspection programs are
involved whose purpose is to determine the existence of physical
conditions not complying with local ordinances. Those programs,
moreover, are enforceable by criminal process, as is refusal to
allow an inspection. Pp. 387 U. S.
(d) Warrantless administrative searches cannot be justified on
the grounds that they make minimal demands on occupants;
Page 387 U. S. 524
that warrant in such cases are unfeasible; or that area
inspection programs could not function under reasonable search
warrant requirements. Pp. 387 U. S.
2. Probable cause upon the basis of which warrants are to be
issued for area code enforcement inspections is not dependent on
the inspector's belief that a particular dwelling violates the
code, but on the reasonableness of the enforcement agency's
appraisal of conditions in the area as a whole. The standards to
guide the magistrate in the issuance of such search warrants will
necessarily vary with the municipal program being enforced. Pp.
387 U. S.
3. Search warrants which are required in nonemergency situations
should normally be sought only after entry is refused. Pp.
387 U. S.
4. In the nonemergency situation here, appellant had a right to
insist that the inspectors obtain a search warrant. P. 387 U. S.
237 Cal. App.
, 46 Cal. Rptr. 585, vacated and remanded.
Page 387 U. S. 525
MR. JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the Court.
In Frank v. Maryland, 359 U. S. 360
this Court upheld, by a five-to-four vote, a state court conviction
of a homeowner who refused to permit a municipal health inspector
to enter and inspect his premises without a search warrant. In
Eaton v. Price, 364 U. S. 263
similar conviction was affirmed by an equally divided Court. Since
those closely divided decisions, more intensive efforts at all
levels of government to contain and eliminate urban blight have led
to increasing use of such inspection techniques, while numerous
decisions of this Court have more fully defined the Fourth
Amendment's effect on state and municipal action. E.g., Mapp v.
Ohio, 367 U. S. 643
Ker v. California, 374 U. S. 23
view of the growing nationwide importance of the problem, we noted
probable jurisdiction in this case and in See v. City of
p. 387 U. S. 541
reexamine whether administrative inspection programs, as presently
authorized and conducted, violate Fourth Amendment rights as those
rights are enforced against the States through the Fourteenth
Amendment. 385 U.S. 808.
Appellant brought this action in a California Superior Court
alleging that he was awaiting trial on a criminal charge of
violating the San Francisco Housing Code by refusing to permit a
warrantless inspection of his residence, and that a writ of
prohibition should issue to the criminal court because the
ordinance authorizing such inspections is unconstitutional on its
face. The Superior Court denied the writ, the District Court of
Appeal affirmed, and the Supreme Court of California denied a
petition for hearing. Appellant properly raised and had considered
by the California courts the federal constitutional questions he
now presents to this Court.
Though there were no judicial findings of fact in this
prohibition proceeding, we shall set forth the parties' factual
allegations. On November 6, 1963, an inspector
Page 387 U. S. 526
of the Division of Housing Inspection of the San Francisco
Department of Public Health entered an apartment building to make a
routine annual inspection for possible violations of the city's
Housing Code. [Footnote 1
building's manager informed the inspector that appellant, lessee of
the ground floor, was using the rear of his leasehold as a personal
residence. Claiming that the building's occupancy permit did not
allow residential use of the ground floor, the inspector confronted
appellant and demanded that he permit an inspection of the
premises. Appellant refused to allow the inspection because the
inspector lacked a search warrant.
The inspector returned on November 8, again without a warrant,
and appellant again refused to allow an inspection. A citation was
then mailed ordering appellant to appear at the district attorney's
office. When appellant failed to appear, two inspectors returned to
his apartment on November 22. They informed appellant that he was
required by law to permit an inspection under § 503 of the Housing
"Sec. 503 RIGHT TO ENTER BUILDING. Authorized employees of the
City departments or City agencies, so far as may be necessary for
the performance of their duties, shall, upon presentation of proper
credentials, have the right to enter, at reasonable times, any
building, structure, or premises in the City to perform any duty
imposed upon them by the Municipal Code. "
Page 387 U. S. 527
Appellant nevertheless refused the inspectors access to his
apartment without a search warrant. Thereafter, a complaint was
filed charging him with refusing to permit a lawful inspection in
violation of § 507 of the Code. [Footnote 2
] Appellant was arrested on December 2 and
released on bail. When his demurrer to the criminal complaint was
denied, appellant filed this petition for a writ of
Appellant has argued throughout this litigation that § 503 is
contrary to the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments in that it
authorizes municipal officials to enter a private dwelling without
a search warrant and without probable cause to believe that a
violation of the Housing Code exists therein. Consequently,
appellant contends, he may not be prosecuted under § 507 for
refusing to permit an inspection unconstitutionally authorized by §
503. Relying on Frank v. Maryland, Eaton v. Price,
decisions in other States, [Footnote 3
] the District
Page 387 U. S. 528
Court of Appeal held that § 503 does not violate Fourth
Amendment rights because it
"is part of a regulatory scheme which is essentially civil,
rather than criminal in nature, inasmuch as that section creates a
right of inspection which is limited in scope and may not be
exercised under unreasonable conditions."
Having concluded that Frank v. Maryland,
to the extent
that it sanctioned such warrantless inspections, must be overruled,
The Fourth Amendment provides that,
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,
papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,
shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon
probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly
describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to
The basic purpose of this Amendment, as recognized in countless
decisions of this Court, is to safeguard the privacy and security
of individuals against arbitrary invasions by governmental
officials. The Fourth Amendment thus gives concrete expression to a
right of the people which "is basic to a free society." Wolf v.
Colorado, 338 U. S. 25
338 U. S. 27
such, the Fourth Amendment is enforceable against the States
through the Fourteenth Amendment. Ker v. California,
374 U. S. 23
374 U. S.
Though there has been general agreement as to the fundamental
purpose of the Fourth Amendment, translation of the abstract
prohibition against "unreasonable searches and seizures" into
workable guidelines for the decision of particular cases is a
difficult task which has for many years divided the members of this
Court. Nevertheless, one governing principle, justified by history
and by current experience, has consistently been followed: except
in certain carefully defined classes of cases, a search of private
property without proper consent
Page 387 U. S. 529
is "unreasonable" unless it has been authorized by a valid
search warrant. See, e.g., Stoner v. California,
376 U. S. 483
United States v. Jeffers, 342 U. S.
; McDonald v. United States, 335 U.
; Agnello v. United States, 269 U. S.
. As the Court explained in Johnson v. United
States, 333 U. S. 10
333 U. S.
"The right of officers to thrust themselves into a home is also
a grave concern not only to the individual, but to a society, which
chooses to dwell in reasonable security and freedom from
surveillance. When the right of privacy must reasonably yield to
the right of search is, as a rule, to be decided by a judicial
officer, not by a policeman or government enforcement agent."
In Frank v. Maryland,
this Court upheld the conviction
of one who refused to permit a warrantless inspection of private
premises for the purposes of locating and abating a suspected
public nuisance. Although Frank
can arguably be
distinguished from this case on its facts, [Footnote 4
] the Frank
opinion has generally
been interpreted as carving out an additional exception to the rule
that warrantless searches are unreasonable under the Fourth
Amendment. See Eaton v. Price, supra.
The District Court
of Appeal so interpreted Frank
in this case, and that
ruling is the core of appellant's challenge here. We proceed to a
reexamination of the factors which
Page 387 U. S. 530
persuaded the Frank
majority to adopt this construction
of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable
To the Frank
majority, municipal fire, health, and
housing inspection programs
"touch at most upon the periphery of the important interests
safeguarded by the Fourteenth Amendment's protection against
359 U.S. at 359 U. S. 367
because the inspections are merely to determine whether physical
conditions exist which do not comply with minimum standards
prescribed in local regulatory ordinances. Since the inspector does
not ask that the property owner open his doors to a search for
"evidence of criminal action" which may be used to secure the
owner's criminal conviction, historic interests of
"self-protection" jointly protected by the Fourth and Fifth
Amendments [Footnote 5
said not to be involved, but only the less intense "right to be
secure from intrusion into personal privacy." Id.
359 U. S.
We may agree that a routine inspection of the physical condition
of private property is a less hostile intrusion than the typical
policeman's search for the fruits and instrumentalities of crime.
For this reason alone, Frank
differed from the great bulk
of Fourth Amendment cases which have been considered by this Court.
But we cannot agree that the Fourth Amendment interests at stake in
these inspection cases are merely "peripheral." It is surely
anomalous to say that the individual and his private property are
fully protected by the Fourth Amendment only when the individual is
suspected of criminal behavior. [Footnote 6
] For instance, even the most law-abiding
Page 387 U. S. 531
has a very tangible interest in limiting the circumstances under
which the sanctity of his home may be broken by official authority,
for the possibility of criminal entry under the guise of official
sanction is a serious threat to personal and family security. And
even accepting Frank's
rather remarkable premise,
inspections of the kind we are here considering do, in fact,
jeopardize "self-protection" interests of the property owner. Like
most regulatory laws, fire, health, and housing codes are enforced
by criminal processes. In some cities, discovery of a violation by
the inspector leads to a criminal complaint. [Footnote 7
] Even in cities where discovery of a
violation produces only an administrative compliance order,
] refusal to comply
is a criminal offense, and the fact of compliance is verified by a
second inspection, again without a warrant. [Footnote 9
] Finally, as this case demonstrates,
refusal to permit an inspection is itself a crime, punishable by
fine or even by jail sentence.
majority suggested, and appellee reasserts,
two other justifications for permitting administrative health and
safety inspections without a warrant. First, it is argued that
these inspections are "designed to make the least possible demand
on the individual occupant." 359 U.S. at 359 U. S. 367
The ordinances authorizing inspections are hedged with safeguards,
and at any rate the inspector's particular decision to enter must
comply with the constitutional standard of reasonableness even if
he may enter without a warrant. [Footnote 10
] In addition, the argument
Page 387 U. S. 532
proceeds, the warrant process could not function effectively in
this field. The decision to inspect an entire municipal area is
based upon legislative or administrative assessment of broad
factors such as the area's age and condition. Unless the magistrate
is to review such policy matters, he must issue a "rubber stamp"
warrant which provides no protection at all to the property
In our opinion, these arguments unduly discount the purposes
behind the warrant machinery contemplated by the Fourth Amendment.
Under the present system, when the inspector demands entry, the
occupant has no way of knowing whether enforcement of the municipal
code involved requires inspection of his premises, no way of
knowing the lawful limits of the inspector's power to search, and
no way of knowing whether the inspector himself is acting under
proper authorization. These are questions which may be reviewed by
a neutral magistrate without any reassessment of the basic agency
decision to canvass an area. Yet only by refusing entry and risking
a criminal conviction can the occupant at present challenge the
inspector's decision to search. And even if the occupant possesses
sufficient fortitude to take this risk, as appellant did here, he
may never learn any more about the reason for the inspection than
that the law generally allows housing inspectors to gain entry. The
practical effect of this system is to leave the occupant subject to
the discretion of the official in the field. This is precisely the
discretion to invade private property which we have consistently
circumscribed by a requirement that a disinterested party warrant
the need to
Page 387 U. S. 533
cases cited p. 387 U. S. 529
We simply cannot say that the protections provided
by the warrant procedure are not needed in this context; broad
statutory safeguards are no substitute for individualized review,
particularly when those safeguards may only be invoked at the risk
of a criminal penalty.
The final justification suggested for warrantless administrative
searches is that the public interest demands such a rule: it is
vigorously argued that the health and safety of entire urban
populations is dependent upon enforcement of minimum fire, housing,
and sanitation standards, and that the only effective means of
enforcing such codes is by routine systematized inspection of all
physical structures. Of course, in applying any reasonableness
standard, including one of constitutional dimension, an argument
that the public interest demands a particular rule must receive
careful consideration. But we think this argument misses the mark.
The question is not, at this stage, at least, whether these
inspections may be made, but whether they may be made without a
warrant. For example, to say that gambling raids may not be made at
the discretion of the police without a warrant is not necessarily
to say that gambling raids may never be made. In assessing whether
the public interest demands creation of a general exception to the
Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement, the question is not whether
the public interest justifies the type of search in question, but
whether the authority to search should be evidenced by a warrant,
which in turn depends in part upon whether the burden of obtaining
a warrant is likely to frustrate the governmental purpose behind
the search. See Schmerber v. California, 384 U.
, 384 U. S.
-771. It has nowhere been urged that fire, health,
and housing code inspection programs could not achieve their goals
within the confines of a reasonable search warrant requirement.
Thus, we do not find the public need argument dispositive.
Page 387 U. S. 534
In summary, we hold that administrative searches of the kind at
issue here are significant intrusions upon the interests protected
by the Fourth Amendment, that such searches, when authorized and
conducted without a warrant procedure, lack the traditional
safeguards which the Fourth Amendment guarantees to the individual,
and that the reasons put forth in Frank v. Maryland
other cases for upholding these warrantless searches are
insufficient to justify so substantial a weakening of the Fourth
Amendment's protections. Because of the nature of the municipal
programs under consideration, however, these conclusions must be
the beginning, not the end, of our inquiry. The Frank
majority gave recognition to the unique character of these
inspection programs by refusing to require search warrants; to
reject that disposition does not justify ignoring the question
whether some other accommodation between public need and individual
rights is essential.
The Fourth Amendment provides that, "no Warrants shall issue but
upon probable cause." Borrowing from more typical Fourth Amendment
cases, appellant argues not only that code enforcement inspection
programs must be circumscribed by a warrant procedure, but also
that warrants should issue only when the inspector possesses
probable cause to believe that a particular dwelling contains
violations of the minimum standards prescribed by the code being
enforced. We disagree.
In cases in which the Fourth Amendment requires that a warrant
to search be obtained, "probable cause" is the standard by which a
particular decision to search is tested against the constitutional
mandate of reasonableness. To apply this standard, it is obviously
necessary first to focus upon the governmental interest which
allegedly justifies official intrusion upon the constitutionally
Page 387 U. S. 535
interests of the private citizen. For example, in a criminal
investigation, the police may undertake to recover specific stolen
or contraband goods. But that public interest would hardly justify
a sweeping search of an entire city conducted in the hope that
these goods might be found. Consequently, a search for these goods,
even with a warrant, is "reasonable" only when there is "probable
cause" to believe that they will be uncovered in a particular
Unlike the search pursuant to a criminal investigation, the
inspection programs at issue here are aimed at securing city-wide
compliance with minimum physical standards for private property.
The primary governmental interest at stake is to prevent even the
unintentional development of conditions which are hazardous to
public health and safety. Because fires and epidemics may ravage
large urban areas, because unsightly conditions adversely affect
the economic values of neighboring structures, numerous courts have
upheld the police power of municipalities to impose and enforce
such minimum standards even upon existing structures. [Footnote 11
] In determining whether
a particular inspection is reasonable -- and thus in determining
whether there is probable cause to issue a warrant for that
inspection -- the need for the inspection must be weighed in terms
of these reasonable goals of code enforcement.
There is unanimous agreement among those most familiar with this
field that the only effective way to seek universal compliance with
the minimum standards required by municipal codes is through
Page 387 U. S. 536
inspections of all structures. [Footnote 12
] It is here that the probable cause debate is
focused, for the agency's decision to conduct an area inspection is
unavoidably based on its appraisal of conditions in the area as a
whole, not on its knowledge of conditions in each particular
building. Appellee contends that, if the probable cause standard
urged by appellant is adopted, the area inspection will be
eliminated as a means of seeking compliance with code standards,
and the reasonable goals of code enforcement will be dealt a
In meeting this contention, appellant argues, first, that his
probable cause standard would not jeopardize area inspection
programs because only a minute portion of the population will
refuse to consent to such inspections, and second, that individual
privacy, in any event, should be given preference to the public
interest in conducting such inspections. The first argument, even
if true, is irrelevant to the question whether the area inspection
is reasonable within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The
second argument is, in effect, an assertion that the area
inspection is an unreasonable search. Unfortunately, there can be
no ready test for determining reasonableness
Page 387 U. S. 537
other than by balancing the need to search against the invasion
which the search entails. But we think that a number of persuasive
factors combine to support the reasonableness of area code
enforcement inspections. First, such programs have a long history
of judicial and public acceptance. See Frank v. Maryland,
359 U.S. at 359 U. S.
-371. Second, the public interest demands that all
dangerous conditions be prevented or abated, yet it is doubtful
that any other canvassing technique would achieve acceptable
results. Many such conditions -- faulty wiring is an obvious
example -- are not observable from outside the building, and indeed
may not be apparent to the inexpert occupant himself. Finally,
because the inspections are neither personal in nature nor aimed at
the discovery of evidence of crime, they involve a relatively
limited invasion of the urban citizen's privacy. Both the majority
and the dissent in Frank
emphatically supported this
"Time and experience have forcefully taught that the power to
inspect dwelling places, either as a matter of systematic
area-by-area search or, as here, to treat a specific problem, is of
indispensable importance to the maintenance of community health; a
power that would be greatly hobbled by the blanket requirement of
the safeguards necessary for a search of evidence of criminal acts.
The need for preventive action is great, and city after city has
seen this need and granted the power of inspection to its health
officials, and these inspections are apparently welcomed by all but
an insignificant few. Certainly the nature of our society has not
vitiated the need for inspections first thought necessary 158 years
ago, nor has experience revealed any abuse or inroad on freedom in
meeting this need by means that history and dominant public opinion
359 U.S. at 359 U. S.
Page 387 U. S. 538
". . . This is not to suggest that a health official need show
the same kind of proof to a magistrate to obtain a warrant as one
must who would search for the fruits or instrumentalities of crime.
Where considerations of health and safety are involved, the facts
that would justify an inference of 'probable cause' to make an
inspection are clearly different from those that would justify such
an inference where a criminal investigation has been undertaken.
Experience may show the need for periodic inspections of certain
facilities without a further showing of cause to believe that
substandard conditions dangerous to the public are being
maintained. The passage of a certain period without inspection
might of itself be sufficient in a given situation to justify the
issuance of a warrant. The test of 'probable cause' required by the
Fourth Amendment can take into account the nature of the search
that is being sought. 359 U.S. at 359 U. S.
(MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, dissenting)."
Having concluded that the area inspection is a "reasonable"
search of private property within the meaning of the Fourth
Amendment, it is obvious that "probable cause" to issue a warrant
to inspect must exist if reasonable legislative or administrative
standards for conducting an area inspection are satisfied with
respect to a particular dwelling. Such standards, which will vary
with the municipal program being enforced, may be based upon the
passage of time, the nature of the building (e.g.,
multi-family apartment house), or the condition of the entire area,
but they will not necessarily depend upon specific knowledge of the
condition of the particular dwelling. It has been suggested that so
to vary the probable cause test from the standard applied in
criminal cases would be to authorize a "synthetic search warrant,"
and thereby to lessen the overall protections of the Fourth
Amendment. Frank v. Maryland,
Page 387 U. S. 539
U.S. at 359 U. S. 373
But we do not agree. The warrant procedure is designed to guarantee
that a decision to search private property is justified by a
reasonable governmental interest. But reasonableness is still the
ultimate standard. If a valid public interest justifies the
intrusion contemplated, then there is probable cause to issue a
suitably restricted search warrant. Cf. Oklahoma Press Pub. Co.
v. Walling, 327 U. S. 186
Such an approach neither endangers time-honored doctrines
applicable to criminal investigations nor makes a nullity of the
probable cause requirement in this area. It merely gives full
recognition to the competing public and private interests here at
stake and, in so doing, best fulfills the historic purpose behind
the constitutional right to be free from unreasonable government
invasions of privacy. See Eaton v. Price,
364 U.S. at
364 U. S.
-274 (opinion of MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN).
Since our holding emphasizes the controlling standard of
reasonableness, nothing we say today is intended to foreclose
prompt inspections, even without a warrant, that the law has
traditionally upheld in emergency situations. See North
American Cold Storage Co. v. City of Chicago, 211 U.
(seizure of unwholesome food); Jacobson v.
Massachusetts, 197 U. S. 11
(compulsory smallpox vaccination); Compagnie Francaise v. Board
of Health, 186 U. S. 380
(health quarantine); Kroplin v. Truax,
119 Ohio St. 610,
165 N.E. 498 (summary destruction of tubercular cattle). On the
other hand, in the case of most routine area inspections, there is
no compelling urgency to inspect at a particular time or on a
particular day. Moreover, most citizens allow inspections of their
property without a warrant. Thus, as a practical matter, and in
light of the Fourth Amendment's requirement that a warrant specify
the property to be searched, it seems likely that warrants should
normally be sought only after entry is refused unless
Page 387 U. S. 540
there has been a citizen complaint or there is other
satisfactory reason for securing immediate entry. Similarly, the
requirement of a warrant procedure does not suggest any change in
what seems to be the prevailing local policy, in most situations,
of authorizing entry, but not entry by force, to inspect.
In this case, appellant has been charged with a crime for his
refusal to permit housing inspectors to enter his leasehold without
a warrant. There was no emergency demanding immediate access; in
fact, the inspectors made three trips to the building in an attempt
to obtain appellant's consent to search. Yet no warrant was
obtained, and thus appellant was unable to verify either the need
for or the appropriate limits of the inspection. No doubt, the
inspectors entered the public portion of the building with the
consent of the landlord, through the building's manager, but
appellee does not contend that such consent was sufficient to
authorize inspection of appellant's premises. Cf. Stoner v.
California, 376 U. S. 483
Chapman v. United States, 365 U.
; McDonald v. United States, 335 U.
. Assuming the facts to be as the parties have
alleged, we therefore conclude that appellant had a constitutional
right to insist that the inspectors obtain a warrant to search and
that appellant may not constitutionally be convicted for refusing
to consent to the inspection. It appears from the opinion of the
District Court of Appeal that, under these circumstances, a writ of
prohibition will issue to the criminal court under California
The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded for further
proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
It is so ordered.
[For dissenting opinion of MR. JUSTICE CLARK, see post,
p. 387 U. S.
The inspection was conducted pursuant to § 86(3) of the San
Francisco Municipal Code, which provides that apartment house
operators shall pay an annual license fee in part to defray the
cost of periodic inspections of their buildings. The inspections
are to be made by the Bureau of Housing Inspection "at least once a
year and as often thereafter as may be deemed necessary." The
permit of occupancy, which prescribes the apartment units which a
building may contain, is not issued until the license is
"Sec. 507 PENALTY FOR VIOLATION. Any person, the owner or his
authorized agent who violates, disobeys, omits, neglects, or
refuses to comply with, or who resists or opposes the execution of
any of the provisions of this Code, or any order of the
Superintendent, the Director of Public Works, or the Director of
Public Health made pursuant to this Code, shall be guilty of a
misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine
not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.00), or by imprisonment,
not exceeding six (6) months or by both such fine and imprisonment,
unless otherwise provided in this Code, and shall be deemed guilty
of a separate offense for every day such violation, disobedience,
omission, neglect or refusal shall continue."
Givner v. State,
210 Md. 484, 124 A.2d 764 (1956);
City of St. Louis v. Evans, 337 S.W.2d
(Mo.1960); State ex rel. Eaton v. Price,
St. 123, 151 N.E.2d 523 (1958), aff'd by an equally divided
Court, 364 U. S. 263
(1960). See also State v. Rees,
258 Iowa 813, 139 N.W.2d 406
(1966); Commonwealth v. Hadley,
351 Mass. 439, 222
(1966), appeal docketed
Jan. 5, 1967, No.
1179, Misc., O.T. 1966; People v. Laverne,
14 N.Y.2d 304,
200 N.E.2d 441 (1964).
the Baltimore ordinance required that the
health inspector "have cause to suspect that a nuisance exists in
any house, cellar or enclosure" before he could demand entry
without a warrant, a requirement obviously met in Frank
because the inspector observed extreme structural decay and a pile
of rodent feces on the appellant's premises. Section 503 of the San
Francisco Housing Code has no such "cause" requirement, but neither
did the Ohio ordinance at issue in Eaton v. Price,
which four Justices thought was controlled by Frank.
U.S. at 364 U. S. 264
364 U. S. 265
n. 2 (opinion of MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN).
See Boyd v. United States, 116 U.
. Compare Schmerber v. California,
384 U. S. 757
384 U. S.
See Abel v. United States, 362 U.
, 362 U. S.
-256 (MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN, dissenting); District
of Columbia v. Little,
85 U.S.App.D.C. 242, 178 F.2d 13,
aff'd, 339 U. S. 1
New York, N.Y. Administrative Code § D26-8.0
Washington, D.C. Housing Regulations § 2104.
This is the more prevalent enforcement procedure. See
Note, Enforcement of Municipal Housing Codes, 78 Harv.L.Rev. 801,
The San Francisco Code requires that the inspector display
proper credentials, that he inspect "at reasonable times," and that
he not obtain entry by force, at least when there is no emergency.
The Baltimore ordinance in Frank
required that the
inspector "have cause to suspect that a nuisance exists." Some
cities notify residents in advance, by mail or posted notice, of
impending area inspections. State courts upholding these
inspections without warrants have imposed a general reasonableness
cases cited, n
See Abbate Bros. v. City of Chicago, 11 Ill. 2d
, 142 N.E.2d
; City of Louisville v. Thompson, 339
(Ky.); Adamec v. Post,
273 N.Y. 250, 7
N.E.2d 120; Paquette v. City of Fall River,
338 Mass. 368,
; Richards v. City of Columbia,
538, 88 S.E.2d
; Boden v. City of Milwaukee,
8 Wis.2d 318, 99
Osgood & Zwerner, Rehabilitation and
Conservation, 25 Law & Contemp.Prob. 705, 718 and n. 43;
Schwartz, Crucial Areas in Administrative Law, 34 Geo.Wash.L.Rev.
401, 423 and n. 93; Comment, Rent Withholding and the Improvement
of Substandard Housing, 53 Calif.L.Rev. 304, 316-317; Note,
Enforcement of Municipal Housing Codes, 78 Harv.L.Rev. 801, 807,
851; Note, Municipal Housing Codes, 69 Harv.L.Rev. 1115, 1124-1125.
Section 311(a) of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, 79
Stat. 478, 42 U.S. C. § 1468 (1964 ed., Supp. I), authorizes grants
of federal funds
"to cities, other municipalities, and counties for the purpose
of assisting such localities in carrying out programs of
concentrated code enforcement in deteriorated or deteriorating
areas in which such enforcement, together with those public
improvements to be provided by the locality, may be expected to
arrest the decline of the area."