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Violating Rights Over a Garden?

Violating Rights Over a Garden?

What a crazy world we live in!

As if things were not asinine enough, a Florida couple was recently forced to pull out their vegetable garden because of a new city ordinance.

Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom Carroll of Miami Shores, Fla., had utilized their front yard to grow food for themselves for the last 17 years. So for 17 years, they had come to rely on and enjoy their garden and worked it! It looked decent!

Evidently, a new zoning ordinance in their backwards town was designed to “protect the distinctive character of the Miami Shores Village,” and specifically prohibited vegetables from appearing in front yards. This illustrates targeting in my opinion because the ordinance did not say anything about fruit or lawn decorations such as garden gnomes.

Keep in mind that this is THEIR front yard and their garden! Sure, the argument could be made that the front yard is meant to be pretty or void of veggies! Unfortunately, that is what is known as an opinion and a view that really does not apply in this debate. For instance, I can tell you that young ladies shouldn’t dress like whores, but that would just be my opinion; and an opinion that fewer these days seem eager to adhere to. Besides what is “pretty” anyway?

Regardless, if it is their land, should they not be able to do what they wish with it? According to the couple, their backyard does not receive enough light from the sun! Damn good reason to utilize the part of their property that receives the energy necessary to grow their own food… like they have for the last 17 years.

Now, (once again) this couple has been growing veggies for 17 YEARS. Suddenly, someone known as a “code enforcement officer” said they could either a pay $50 per day fine or uproot the entire garden. Seriously? Who the hell made this person King? And those were the only two options? The couple tried to fight it but the city cared little about their garden or their reasons. Somehow, I am not surprised!

How neat would it have been to bring this case to “Constitutional Court”? Let’s review!!!!

(Paraphrasing to illustrate the point)

  • Amendment IV – The right of the people to be secure in their houses and effects from unreasonable seizures shall not be violated.
  • Amendment VIII – Excessive fines shall not be imposed…
  • Amendment IX – The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

I see it like this: They had a choice IMPOSED upon them. This town would either violate the 4th, or violate the 5th… and then either way, they violated the 9th.

At the end of the day, it appears as though Hermine and her husband Tom had their Rights infringed upon in order to keep a neighborhood aesthetically pleasing!

Well done people! Thankfully… they have decided to start fighting back. In fact, the Institute for Justice has filed a suit on their behalf, so thank you IJ for that!

“The lack of reason is part of our complaint, there is no rational basis for a ban on a peaceful and productive use of property, like growing vegetables in your front yard,” said IJ attorney Ari Bargil.

I could not agree more! Asked if anyone ever complained about their garden, Ricketts replied “never.”

David Robertson

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David holds a Master’s of Science in Leadership. He also graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in both Strategic Leadership and Security Management. Additionally, he boasts certificates in Operational Leadership, Homeland Security and Active Shooter Scenarios as well additional training in similar disciplines.

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