NORRISTOWN — A federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Norristown ordinance that penalizes landlords for the alleged behavior of their tenants was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The Norristown ordinance penalized landlords and encouraged them to evict their tenants when the police are called to a property three times in four months for “disorderly behavior,” including responding to incidents of domestic violence.
The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and the law firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP against the municipality, former Municipal Administrator David Forrest, Interim Municipal Administrator Robert Glisson, former Police Chief Russell Bono, Interim Police Chief Willie Richet and Code Enforcement Manager Joseph Januzelli.
“We are planning to file a motion for preliminary injunction to prevent Norristown from enforcing the December 2012 ordinance while the case is pending,” said Sara Rose, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “We hope we will have a hearing soon. We hope this will be resolved quickly.”