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A Blog about Real Estate, How it Can Be Damaged, and Disputes Over its Transfer

This blog is a personal blog written to discuss legal issues affecting Georgia property, and how it is damaged, transferred, and fought over. I write this partly to keep abreast of the law, and partly to offer a forum for my writing. In order to find content, I often analyze Georgia Supreme Court decisions. I try to update this blog as I can, but writing is a time consuming process.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Georgia Supreme Court Upholds Grass Cutting Ordinance Against Slavery Challenge

On October 4, 2010 in an opinion in Gasses v. City of Riverdale, the Georgia Supreme Court upheld a city ordinance requiring citizens to cut their grass.

You are not enslaved when you mow your lawn.  The Court held that the ban on slavery does not prohibit cities from requiring their citizens to cut their grass as a civic duty.  The defendant homeowners in the case had attacked the ordinance on a variety of grounds, which included, but were not limited to, an argument that a law requiring one to cut their grass was an constitutional infringement of the prohibition on slavery contained in the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The homeowners also complained that the ordinance violated their rights to due process of law.  The Court, however, held that there is a rational relationship between the punishment inflicted by ordinances that require citizens to cut their lawns, and the public health, safety and welfare goal of having nicely groomed lawns.   

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