Supreme Court overturns Court of Appeals on single family use restriction

The Supreme Court recently ruled in the case of Winding Ridge v. Joffe that a single family use restriction in a set of restrictive covenants was a structural limitation as opposed to a restriction on the type of occupancy permitted within a dwelling.  The Supreme Court ruling overturns a July 2007 Court of Appeals case which had held that a group of baseball players were in violation of the usage restriction and prohibited the students from occupying the residence unless they were related by blood or marriage or otherwise structured in the same way as a traditional view of an American family.  Judge Geer dissented in the Court of Appeals case and maintained that the restriction was instead, a structural limitation, as opposed to a usage limitation.  In her dissent, Judge Geer wrote, “I would hold in this case that the restrictive covenant, as drafted, is only a limitation on the type of structure that may be placed on the property and not a restriction on the type of occupancy permitted within the dwelling.”  The case was appealed to the Supreme Court where the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals majority decision and adopted Judge Geer’s dissent.

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