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Hadacheck v. Sebastian

Citation. 239 U.S. 394, 36 S. Ct. 143, 60 L. Ed. 348, 1915 U.S.
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Brief Fact Summary.

The Petitioner, Hadacheck (Petitioner), was convicted of a misdemeanor violation of an ordinance prohibiting establishment or operation of a brick kiln within the City Limits of Los Angeles.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

Under the police power, a state may validly declare a particular business to be a nuisance under the facts and circumstances, as it relates to public health.


At the time of purchase, the land was outside the city limits. The land was on a valuable bed of clay of fine quality that far exceeds the lands value for residential use. The owner had built a great deal of machinery on the property for the purpose of manufacturing brick. He claimed the ordinance was directed against him because such operations existed without regulation through out the area.


Would enforcement of the ordinance deprive petitioner of his property and use thereof in violation?


Since the ordinance only prohibited manufacture of the bricks and not the removal of the clay itself, this was not a deprivation of property rights incident to ownership. Under the police power, the prohibition of manufacture could be justified relating to the health and comfort of the community. Not enough evidence was available to prove that the prohibition enacted was for the purpose of unjustly discriminating against the petitioner.


The court looked at similar authority regarding a livery stable. In that authority, the court found that even if a business was not a nuisance per se, the State, could declare in particular circumstances and localities that a given business was a nuisance in fact and in law. It was a valid exercise of the police power.

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