Can Code Enforcement Demand a Vehicle Not be Parked in Private Driveway?

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“I have a rare vehicle parked in my driveway. I am in the process of restoring it. the driveway is behind my house on an alley. the car is not visible from the street.  The code enforcement guy is trying to say that it is a public nuisance.  I very much disagree. Is not my driveway considered my curtilage? Does the city have the right to look inside or otherwise open or demand inspection of the locked car on my premises without a warrant? At what point does my right to privacy become violated here?”

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Good question.  Unfortunately, the answer is “it depends.”

If the code enforcement officer believes that a car in this sort of position can be considered a public nuisance in your area, there’s a good chance (though hardly a certainty) that he’s correct.  More importantly, if he issues you a citation, the burden is suddently on you to defend yourself or, at a minimum, be fined.

I would first look for a practical way of getting around this: can you garage the car, or cover it?  Would that satisfy him, without too much trouble for you?  Failing something like that, find yourself a local attorney (perhaps one who likes cars) and dig in for a long one.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.