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State v. Baker

Supreme Court of New Jersey
405 A.2d 368 (N.J. 1979)


Facts

Dennis Baker (defendant) owns a house in Plainfield, New Jersey. The house lies within a zone restricted to habitation by single families. The zoning ordinance provides that groups of more than four unrelated adults are not families. Baker lives in the house with his wife and their three children, along with an unrelated woman and her three children. The nine people view each other as an extended family, and eat and pray together. They all contribute to the household expenses. On three occasions in 1976, the State of New Jersey (plaintiff) charged Baker with violating the zoning ordinance, and he was convicted each time. Baker then appealed his convictions to the state supreme court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pashman, J.)

Dissent (Mountain, J.)

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