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Turudic v. Stephens dba Susan Estates Residents’ Association

Oregon Court of Appeals
31 P.3d 465 (Or. Ct. App. 2001)


Facts

Andy and Luisa Turudic (plaintiffs) moved into a low-density residential subdivision, and proceeded to build a sturdy, secure outdoor pen for their two pet cougars. William Stephens dba Susan Estates Residents' Association (defendant) considered the cougars an unreasonable threat to community safety. The association's board charged the Turudics with violating the subdivision's restrictive covenant against nuisances, a term that specifically excluded the "normal or reasonable use" of property for residential purposes. The Turudics made a reasonable offer to address the board's safety concerns by adding security features to the cougars' pen, and applied for a permit to do so. Without explanation, the board denied the Turudics' request and ordered them to tear down the pen and get rid of the cougars. The Turudics sued to prevent enforcement of the removal order. The trial court found that there was no objective basis for considering the cougars unsafe or a nuisance. However, the court also found that keeping cougars was incompatible with residential use and upheld the removal order. The Turudics appealed to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Haselton, J.)

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