City Of Edmonds v. Oxford House, Inc.

514 U.S. 725 (1925)


Oxford House (D) opened a group home in the City of Edmonds (P). The house was located in a residential neighborhood and was for 10 to 12 adults recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. D issued criminal and civil citations against the owner. D's ordinance defined a family as an individual or two or more persons related by genetics, adoption, marriage, or a group of five or fewer person who were not related by genetics, adoption, or marriage. D opposed the citations under the Fair Housing Act 102 Stat. 1619, 42 U.S.C. Section 3601; unlawful to discriminate to a buyer or renter because of a handicap. D asked P to make a reasonable accommodation and P refused. P then sued D for a declaration that the FHA did not prohibit P’s ordinance. D claimed that P failed to make reasonable accommodations for handicapped persons. All parties conceded that the occupants of D were handicapped. P however, relied upon FHA exceptions that allowed any reasonable restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling. The District Court ruled that the city ordinance defining a family was exempt from the handicap FHA clauses. The Ninth Circuit reversed. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.