City of Edmonds v. Oxford House, Inc.
United States Supreme Court
514 U.S. 725 (1995)
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits housing discrimination against handicapped people. Section 3607(b)(1), an exemption written into this act, permits any reasonable statute or ordinance that sets the maximum number of occupants a dwelling may contain. Here, the City of Edmonds (defendant) enacted an ordinance that defined who may occupy a single-family home. It stated that anyone who is related by blood, marriage or adoption may live together, or if unrelated, five or fewer persons. In 1990, Oxford House, Inc. (plaintiff) opened a group home in a single-family home in Edmonds. Both parties have agreed that the residents of the home, recovering drug addicts and alcoholics, are considered handicapped under the FHA. Shortly after opening the group home, Oxford received citations from Edmonds, charging Oxford with violations of the city’s zoning ordinance regarding single-family homes. Oxford House brought this action to challenge the citations. The district court ruled that the restrictions on whom was to be considered a family in the Edmonds ordinance was a lawful exemption as it limited the number of occupants residing in a single-family home. Oxford House appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the exemption in the FHA did not apply to the ordinance in question. Edmunds petitioned for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ginsburg, J.)
Dissent (Thomas, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.