Friday, November 29, 2013

Village of Belle Terre v. Boraas case brief

Village of Belle Terre v. Boraas case brief summary
416 U.S. 1 (1974)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellants, village and others, sought review of a judgment from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, reversing the judgment from the district court that found that appellant village's ordinance that restricted land use to one-family dwellings constitutional.

CASE FACTS
Appellant village had an ordinance restricting land use to one-family dwellings. The word "family" meant one or more related persons or a number of persons but not exceeding two that were not related. Appellee house owners leased a house to appellee tenants who were not related. When appellant village served appellee house owners with an order to remedy violations of the ordinance, appellee house owners and three tenants brought an action under 42 U.S.C.S. §1983 for an injunction and a judgment declaring the ordinance unconstitutional. The district court held the ordinance constitutional and the appellate court reversed.

DISCUSSION
  • On appeal, the court reversed the judgment from the appellate court. 
  • The ordinance was not aimed at transients, it involved no procedural disparity inflicted on some but not on others, and it involved no fundamental right guaranteed by the United States Constitution. 
  • The court found that a quiet place where yards were wide, people few, and motor vehicles restricted were legitimate guidelines in a land-use project addressed to family needs. 
  • The legislature properly exercised its discretion in defining "family" to include no more than two unrelated persons.
CONCLUSION
The court reversed the judgment from the appellate court that had reversed the judgment from the district court that found appellant village's zoning ordinance that restricted land use to one-family dwellings was constitutional. The court found that the ordinance did not involve a fundamental right guaranteed by the United States Constitution and did not involve procedural disparity inflicted on some but not others.

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