Supreme Court asked to rule on front yard garden ban

A Miami Shores couple has asked the Florida Supreme Court to take up a constitutional challenge to an ordinance that bars planting vegetable gardens in the front yards of homes.

Hermine Ricketts and Laurence Carroll want the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of a ruling last month by the 3rd District Court of Appeal that upheld the Miami Shores ordinance, according to a notice posted Thursday on the Supreme Court website.

The notice, as is common, does not detail the arguments that attorneys for the married couple will make. But Ricketts and Carroll initially filed the lawsuit after a code inspector issued a notice of violation because of their front-yard vegetable garden.

Represented by attorneys from the Institute for Justice, a national legal group, the couple argued that the ordinance ran afoul of the Florida Constitution, including that it violated privacy rights and the right to acquire, possess and protect property, according to last month's appeals-court ruling.

But a Miami-Dade County circuit judge ruled that the ordinance was constitutional, and a three-judge panel of the appeals court agreed. In part, the appeals court said the ordinance “only prohibits vegetable gardens in a front yard, not anywhere or everywhere on a residential lot.”