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Moore v. City of East Cleveland

Law Dictionary
CASE BRIEFS

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Property Law Keyed to Cribbet

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.431 U.S. 494, 97 S. Ct. 1932, 52 L. Ed. 2d 531 (1977)

Brief Fact Summary. The City of East Cleveland adopted a housing ordinance, which limited the occupancy of a dwelling unit to a single family. The ordinance had an unusual definition of a family, which recognized only a few categories of related individuals.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. When the government intrudes on choices concerning family living arrangements, the court will examine carefully the importance of the governmental interests advanced and the extent to which they are served by the challenged regulation.


Facts. The City of East Cleveland adopted a housing ordinance, which limited the occupancy of a dwelling unit to a single family. The ordinance had an unusual definition of what constituted a family, which recognized only a few categories of related individuals and had the effect of making it illegal for Moore (Appellant) to live with her grandsons where she lived with her son, his son, and another grandson. In 1973, Moore received a notice of violation from the City, stating that the grandson who was not her son’s son was an “illegal occupant” and directed Appellant to comply with the ordinance. The City then filed a criminal charge when Appellant refused to remove the grandson. Appellant was convicted and sentenced to five days in jail and a $25.00 fine. The Court of Appeals of Ohio affirmed after considering Appellant’s claims that the ordinance violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court of Ohio denied review. The Supreme Court of the United Sta
tes noted probable jurisdiction and reviewed the case.

Issue. Is the ordinance constitutional?

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