More On Constitutionalist Nonsense

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

One of the more relatively popular posts on this website is this post on  Constitutionalists.

From time to time, I run across them in either my Code Enforcement or my Civil Rights practices.

However, I don’t wish to debate the issues.  If you have a code enforcement issue, you must realize that the government has police powers to deal with code enforcement issues. The police powers are in the California Constitution:

“A county or city may make and enforce within its limits all local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws.” (Cal. Const., art. XI, § 7.) Often referred to as the “police power,” this constitutional authority of counties and cities to adopt local ordinances was described by the Supreme Court in Candid Enterprises, Inc. v. Grossmont Union High School District (1985) 29 Cal.3d 878, 885, as having the following broad scope
“Under the police power granted by the Constitution, counties and cities have plenary authority to govern, subject only to the limitation that they exercise this power within their territorial limits and subordinate to state law. Apart from this limitation, the police power of a county or city under this provision is as broad as the police power exercisable by the legislature itself.” 85 Cal. Op. Att’y Gen. 21 (2002).

This is not up for debate. 

That does not mean that the police powers are unlimited. In particular, code enforcement often does not follow the law, whether it is the City’s own processes in the municipal code, a charter provision, California law when applicable, or the California or United States Constitution.


The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

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