A Miami-Dade judge has ruled that the upscale city of Miami Shores has every right to take legal action against citizens who plant vegetables in their own front yard. Her reasoning? They’re just too ugly…
The ten-page ruling by Judge Monica Gordo was based on the three-year long legal battle of Tom Carroll and Hermine Ricketts, who are facing fines of $50 per day for growing their own food.
From The Mind Unleashed:
For 17 years, the couple grew their own food in their front yard until one day, the state came knocking.
No one was harmed by the couple’s garden, it was entirely organic, and in nearly two decades, not one of their neighbors ever complained. The only injured party in this ridiculous act was the state.
According to the tyrannical legislation, all homeowners are subject to the same absurd constraints. Their yards must be covered in grass — that is the law.
“There certainly is not a fundamental right to grow vegetables in your front yard,” Richard Sarafan, attorney for Miami Shores, said at the start of the case. “Aesthetics and uniformity are legitimate government purposes. Not every property can lawfully be used for every purpose.”
The hubris that it takes to claim that no one has a right to grow vegetables in their front yard is mind blowing. Carroll and Ricketts’ yard is not publicly owned and is not subject to the government’s ‘uniformity’ code — especially when all they are doing is growing food.
This case is different than many of the other gardening cases that arise across the country as the majority of front yard gardens are opposed by Home Owner Associations — not the government. When an HOA tells someone they cannot grow a garden it’s because that person voluntarily agreed to the rules.
Unlike members of HOAs, however, Carroll and Ricketts never agreed to these arbitrary constraints on their private property, which happened to be imposed on them nearly two decades after they’d been growing their own food.
Carroll and Rickets, however, refuse to back down.
“I am disappointed by today’s ruling,” Ricketts told the Miami Herald. “My garden not only provided us with food, but it was also beautiful and added character to the community. I look forward to continuing this fight and ultimately winning so I can once again use my property productively instead of being forced to have a useless lawn.”
The couple’s lawyer, Ari Bargil with the Institute of Justice, made this statement:
“If Hermine and Tom wanted to grow fruit or flowers or display pink flamingos, Miami Shores would have been completely fine with it. They should be equally free to grow food for their own consumption, which they did for 17 years before the village forced them to uproot the very source of their sustenance.”
Check out the video below and make sure to let us know what you think about this insane case of government overreach in the comments section!