Florida Appeals Court Upholds Ban on Front-Yard Vegetable Gardens

Institute for Justice – by Shira Rawlinson

Miami, Fla.—Today Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal dealt a major blow to property rights when it upheld the Village of Miami Shores’ ban on front-yard vegetable gardens. This means homeowners Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll—and others like them—are still banned from growing a front yard garden to provide food for themselves. Hermine and Tom are represented by the Institute for Justice (IJ), which first challenged the ban in November 2013.  

“Today’s decision gives local government the power to flatly ban homeowners from growing plants in their front yards simply because they intend to eat them,” explains IJ Attorney Ari Bargil, who argued in court on behalf of Hermine and Tom. “The decision authorizes government to criminalize something people have freely done for centuries—grow food to feed themselves.”

In March 2013, Miami Shores adopted a zoning ordinance banning front-yard vegetable gardens. Only vegetables are banned—trees, fruit and garden gnomes are fine. And despite its purported aesthetics-based justification, the ban applies to attractive and unattractive gardens alike. The ban immediately impacted Hermine and Tom, a married couple who had used their front-yard garden to grow vegetables and other plants for 17 years. Miami Shores told Hermine and Tom to destroy their garden or face fines of $50 per day. Unable to bear the cost of the fines, they dug up their garden.

In today’s decision, the court upheld the vegetable ban, concluding that it is rational for government to ban “the cultivation of plants to be eaten as part of a meal, as opposed to the cultivation of plants for ornamental reasons.”

“If Hermine and Tom wanted to grow fruit or flowers or display pink flamingos, Miami Shores would have been completely fine with it,” continued Bargil. “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.”

The case has brought international attention to an issue that affects all Americans: our food. Michael Bindas, an IJ senior attorney and director of IJ’s National Food Freedom Initiative, said “the Institute for Justice will continue to fight until courts make clear that all Americans have the right to peacefully and productively use their property to feed themselves and their families.”


9 thoughts on “Florida Appeals Court Upholds Ban on Front-Yard Vegetable Gardens

  1. Growing produce in the front yard is an advertisement for GMO free, non commercial, safe organic pesticide treated food. You can’t have that.

  2. Lesson to be learned here. Move out of the cities. Let them fester in their own shit and piss. You want to see what happens when these uppity, liberal assholes don’t have our money anymore? I give you Detroit…they called it white flight, but it wasn’t just the whites that left. It was the educated and middle class that wanted no part of the criminals on the streets nor in the government buildings. Starve them out, move out. I did. I left Miami a year ago.

  3. Since when can those who serve within our governments make what one has already been doing LAWFULLY a crime? (The key word here is LAWFULLY)

    When theu were UNLAWFULLY required to remove a garden that was planted and maintained when it was still LAWFUL to have one (although those who serve within our government have NO LAWFUL authority over our property of any kind – but that is another issue) is called *Ex Post Facto Law – “a law that retroactively alters a defendant’s rights especially by criminalizing and imposing punishment for an act that was not criminal or punishable at the time it was committed, by increasing the severity of a crime from its level at the time the crime was committed, by increasing the punishment for a crime from the punishment imposed at the time the crime was committed, or by taking away from the protections (as evidentiary protection) afforded the defendant by the law as it existed when the act was committed ”

    So you now have all involved in the Third District Court of Appeals, particularly the judges that have committed felonies, including the felony of breaking their Oath, plus *Perjury: “the voluntary violation of an oath or vow either by swearing to what is untrue or by omission to do what has been promised under oath :false swearing”. This includesall of those involved in any way with the creation and implementation of the Village of Miami Shores’ ban on front yard gadens.

    The US Constitution is the SUPREME LAW of this land still, and to ignore it will assist those who work against our nation from inside, the domestic enemies and traitors. It IS the supreme CONTRACT that they all serve under and are required doubly by the Oath to support and defend FIRST before anything else including the orders of superiors and the duties of their jobs.

    ALL Oath takers are made PERSONALLY responsible for their actions by that Oath. All who, when made aware of the breaking of the Oath, and the going against the Constitutions (US Constitution and each state Constitution) and do nothing about those unlawful, at times *terroristic, and also at times treasonous, actions against the American people are aiding and abetting the destruction of our nation.

    “Constitution of this state declares, among inalienable rights of each citizen, that of acquiring, possessing and protecting property. This is one of primary objects of government, is guaranteed by constitution, and cannot be impaired by legislation.” Billings v. Hall (1857), 7 C. 1.

    “Right of protecting property, declared inalienable by constitution, is not mere right to protect it by individual force, but right to protect it by law of land, and force of body politic.” Billings v. Hall (1857), 7 C. 1.

    “Right to possess and protect property is not more clearly protected by constitution, than right to acquire it. Right to acquire is right to use proper means to attain end; and use of such means, cannot be prohibited by legislature, except peace and safety of state require it.” In Re Newman (1858), 9 C. 502.

    “To say that one may not defend his own property is usurpation of power by legislature.” O’Connell v. Judnich (1925), 71 C.A.386, 235 P. 664.

    “Owner has constitutional right to use and enjoyment of his property.” Simpson v. Los Angeles (1935), 4 C.2d 60, 47 P.2d 474.

    “Right of property antedates all constitutions. Every person has right to enjoy his property and improve it according to his own desires in any way consistent with rights of others.” People v. Holder (1921), 53 C.A. 45, 199 P. 832.

    “Constitutional guarantee securing to every person right of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property refers to right to possess absolutely and unqualifiedly every species of property recognized by law and all rights incidental thereto, including right to dispose of such property in such manner as he pleases.” People v. Davenport (1937), 21 C.A. 292, 69 P.2d 396.

    “A constitution is designated as a supreme enactment, a fundamental act of legislation by the people of the state. A constitution is legislation direct from the people acting in their sovereign capacity, while a statute is legislation from their representatives, subject to limitations prescribed by the superior authority.” Ellingham v. Dye, 231 U. S. 250.

    Jefferson was a firm believer in property rights for individuals, and that those who would serve within the American governments were to protect those rights. By the term “property rights” he did not just mean land, homes; but the natural rights all humans have, all items and thoughts are theirs and to be protected from such things as the NSA, all the spying (and it is called spying for a reason) on everything every single American does. That the earnings of the work the people did, and created belonged entirely to the people, and not to those who serve within our governments.

    Thomas Jefferson: “The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management.”

    “The basic purpose of a written constitution has a two-fold aspect, first securing [not granting] to the people of certain unchangeable rights and remedies, and second, the curtailment of unrestricted governmental activity within certain defined spheres.” Du Pont v. Du Pont, 85 A 724.

    James Madison: “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.”

    John Adams: “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it anarchy and tyranny commence. If “Thou shalt not covet,” and “Thou shalt not steal,” were not commandments of heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.’

    “If men, through fear, fraud or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of Almighty God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.” Samuel Adams – helped organize the Boston Tea Party and signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence.


    1. You come up citing statutory law, which only applies in the District of Columbia and at federal facilities. Our self governess lies within the common law, which is the Bill of Rights, which is apart and separate from the breached contract you can’t seem to let go of.
      F#@k them, f#@k their contract, and f#@k you if you refuse to admit that the contract is breached out of existence and the power is returned to the people. At this point in the ball game, you can be nothing but a coward if you have not divorced yourself from this occupation and their phony f#@king contract.
      The power in this country is in the hearts and souls of the American nationals and it will be delivered via the barrels of our guns.
      Now quit cluttering up our comment section with this failed contract horseshit. There is no contract. I do not consent. I am a free man and I will do as I goddamn well please, as there can be no law to bind me, as there is no law, period, except for the laws of force of arms and balls.
      This is your final warning, if you want to continue to comment, cease writing books about irrelevant bullshit that is left in the past.


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