A West Hollywood landlord, Letizia Gelles, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court to exempt her 15-unit apartment building from the city's freeze on rents.
After the city's incorporation its council voted not only to freeze the prices on rents but also rolled them back to what they were on Aug. 6, 1984. In doing so, the city denied this landlord the right to rent her apartment units at the free market-value prices, which is so fundamental in our marketplace economy and which is taken for granted by all other enterprises (such as) stores, gasoline stations, cleaners and equipment rentals.
The question is: Under what constitutional provision can a city single out a rental housing enterprise and subject it to the price controls?
As a matter of fact, the opposite is true. The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits discriminatory treatment of an individual or a business enterprise under its clause of equal protection.