Moore v. City of East Cleveland, Ohio
431 U.S. 494 (1977)
Inez lived in a house with her
son (Dale Sr.) and grandson (John). Her other son (Dale Jr.) came to live
with them after Dale Sr.'s sister died.
Dale Jr. and John were
East Cleveland ordered John
out of the house, and when Inez failed to comply, East Cleveland filed a
There was a housing
ordinance that limited occupancy of a dwelling to "members of a
The Trial Court found Inez
guilty and fined her $25. She appealed.
Inez argued that the
ordinance was an unconstitutional violation of substantive due process and that she had a fundamental right to keep her extended family together.
East Cleveland argued that
the ordinance was constitutional as long as it bore a rational
relationship to permissible State
See Village of Belle
Terre v. Boraas (416 U.S. 1
The US Supreme Court found the
ordinance to be an unconstitutional violation of substantive due
The US Supreme Court distinguished
Belle Terre because that case had
to do with an ordinance forbidding unrelated people from living together.
The Supreme Court recognized
that there is a fundamental right
to keep a family together.
That includes extended
families such as Inez'.
Because of the fundamental
right involved, the East Cleveland
ordinance is subject to strict scrutiny as opposed to the rational basis review used in Belle Terre.
"The family is not
beyond regulation, but when the government intrudes on choices
concerning family living arrangements, this Court must examine carefully
the importance of the governmental interests advanced and the extent to
which they are served by the challenged regulation.