A new ordinance targeting nuisance properties in a northeastern Pennsylvania city has drawn the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The law in Wilkes-Barre permits officials to close down rental units where “disruptive conduct” or crimes have occurred. Officials say it’s been used about five times.
But the ACLU sent a letter to Mayor Tom Leighton this month calling the statute unconstitutional.
Assistant city solicitor Bill Vinsko says he thinks there’s been a misunderstanding about how the law works. He expects to meet with ACLU representatives within the next month.
The ACLU recently sued the Philadelphia suburb of Norristown for enacting a law that orders landlords to evict tenants who make too many 911 calls.
That case is pending in federal court.