Moore v. City of East Cleveland, Ohio 431 U.S. 494, U.S. Supreme Court. May 31, 1977.
Facts: Mrs. Inez Moore lives with her son and two grandsons in East Cleveland. The two children are first cousins. One of the grandsons, John Moore moved in after the death of his mother. Due to East Cleveland’s housing ordinance that only recognizes only a few categories of related individuals, her grandson was declared an illegal occupant of the house. She was ordered to have John removed from the dwelling. She did not comply and she received a criminal charge from the city.
Procedural History: Mrs. Moore moved to dismiss on grounds the ordinance was constitutionally invalid on its face. Motion was over-ruled. Ohio Court of Appeals affirmed after giving full consideration. Ohio Supreme Court denied review. Mrs. Moore appealed to the U.S Supreme Court. U.S. Supreme Court granted cert.
Issue: Whether East Cleveland’s narrow housing ordinance violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Reasoning: The holding in Village of Belle Terre v. Boraas only affected unrelated individuals not family members related by blood, adoption, or marriage and does not apply to this case. Since this ordinance intruded on choices concerning family living arrangements, the City had to have compelling governmental interests for the regulation. Their stated objectives of avoiding financial burden for public schools, minimizing traffic, and preventing overcrowding were not significant reasons to burden liberties protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.