In Fisher v. City of Berkeley, the California Supreme Court addressed the validity of Berkeley's latest rent control ordinance. With the exception of a retaliatory eviction provision, the court upheld the ordinance against all challenges. These challenges included alleged due process violations, and claims that certain provisions in the ordinance were preempted by state law. The Fisher court discussed five relevant issues: 1) the facial validity of the ordinance's rate of return standard; 2) the facial validity of the ordinance's rate adjustment procedures; 3) whether the ordinance constitutes an unreasonable restraint on the alienation of property; 4) the validity of the ordinance's retaliatory eviction provisions; and 5) the validity of the ordinance's rent withholding provisions. This Note will analyze the Fisher court's thorough evaluation of each issue. Furthermore, this Note will consider the significance of future due process and preemption challenges to rent control in light of the Fisher decision.
Scott T. Dunning,
Fisher v. City of Berkeley: Applying Due Process and Preemption to Rent Control Ordinances, 16 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.