Yuma, Arizona

Challenge to City of Yuma's Warrantless Searches of Rental Homes
Stanphill v. City of Yuma

Outraged: Patricia Stanphill, left, owner of A Shady Tree RV Park and Apartments, and Amber Leach, a tenant who refused to allow a warrantless search of her home.

Under an ordinance adopted in 2002, the City of Yuma, Ariz., tried to force landlords to open their rental property without obtaining consent from or even providing notice to tenants.  Outraged by the City’s disregard for their rights, two tenants and their landlord joined with the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter and filed suit in Yuma County Superior Court seeking to restore their constitutional rights.

In response to the lawsuit and public advocacy from the IJ Arizona Chapter, the City of Yuma quickly announced in a letter that it had suspended the warrantless inspections and agreed to amend its ordinance to require search warrants for city inspectors to enter tenants’ homes.





Essential Background


Release: Tenants Win Battle to Stop Government Abuse (March 26, 2003)

Client Photo

Client Video - none available

Release: Tenants Fight Warrantless Searches of Rental Homes; City Agrees to Reconsider Rental Ordinance (November 18, 2002)


Legal Briefs and Decisions

none available


Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit:


November 18, 2002

Court Filed:


Yuma Superior Court






Case Completed; March 26, 2003:  Victory for property owner & IJ; City of Yuma suspended indefinitely the warrantless inspections and amended its ordinance to require search warrants for city inspectors to enter tenants’ homes




Additional Releases


Maps, Charts and Facts

none available

MAP: State Supreme Court Rulings On Eminent Domain for Private Development





Op-eds, News Articles and Links



Article: City to revise rental inspection law so renters can say no (February 4, 2003)

Article: City council out to do right thing (November 20, 2002)

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Institute for Justice
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Arlington, VA 22203
Tel 703.682.9320, Fax 703.682.9321
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