Saturday, January 4, 2014

Chevy Chase Village v. Jaggers case brief

Chevy Chase Village v. Jaggers case brief summary
275 A.2d 167 (1971)

Plaintiffs, village, landowner, and municipality, appealed the decree of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County (Maryland), which had denied an injunction against defendants, doctor and wife.

The doctor had operated his practice out of his home for many years with no objections. The doctor decided that he wished to move from the municipality but that he desired to operate his office in his old home. The municipality brought an action for an injunction against the doctor based upon the claim that the doctor violated a restrictive covenant in his deed, which limited the use of his property to residential uses.

The lower court refused to enter the injunction, and the court reversed and remanded.


  • The court held that, even though the municipality had acquiesced to a possible violation of the restrictive covenant, that the doctor was attempting a new use, and the municipality was not bound by the doctrine of laches to permit the doctor to use the property differently than he had before. 
  • The court ruled that the equitable doctrine of comparative hardship did not warrant relief to the doctor because the harm to his neighbors' homes was not negligible and was not outweighed by the doctor's desire to move to another residential area.
The court reversed the decree of the lower court, remanded, and directed that the lower court enjoin the doctor and his wife from using their home as an office unless they actually resided on the premises.

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