The City of East Cleveland (CEC) (plaintiff) enacted a housing ordinance that limited the occupancy of a dwelling unit to members of a single family. The ordinance narrowly defined the term “family” as encompassing only a few categories of related individuals. Inez Moore (defendant) lived in East Cleveland in a home with her son and two grandsons. Under the housing ordinance, this arrangement was outside the legal definition of “family.” Moore received a notice of violation of the ordinance from the CEC and when she refused to modify her living arrangement, Moore was charged with criminal penalties. Moore was convicted and sentenced to a fine and five days in jail. Moore appealed to the Court of Appeals of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, which sustained her conviction. Moore then appealed to the United States Supreme Court.