Schanzenbach v. Town of Opal, No. 11-8093 (10th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff Roger Schanzenbach owned several properties in the town of Opal on which he intended to install mobile manufactured homes. He applied for permits with town authorities. The town council issued several building permits to Plaintiff but shortly thereafter enacted an ordinance that included a provision banning the installation of any manufactured home that was older than 10 years at the time of the relevant permit application (the 10-Year Rule). When the permits were about to lapse and Plaintiff requested an extension, the town council denied his request. It also rejected his applications for new permits because the proposed houses were more than 10 years old. Plaintiff then sued the town and town council asserting that the 10-Year Rule was preempted by the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 as well as a variety of constitutional claims. The district court awarded summary judgment to the defendants. On appeal to the Tenth Circuit, Plaintiff raised claims based on preemption, equal protection, and substantive due process. Upon review, the Court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on these claims. The 10-Year Rule was not preempted and the rule was sufficiently rational to survive an equal-protection or substantive-due-process challenge.