Florida Vegetable Gardens

Ricketts v. Miami Shores
Miami Shores Couple Files Lawsuit Over Ban on Front-Yard Vegetable Gardens
 . Greg Burke and Kristin Casper Chicago Schnitzel King Food Truck

Miami Shores Village, Fla. told Tom Carroll and Hermine Ricketts to remove their front-yard vegetable garden or face $50 a day in fines.

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Watch City Forces Homeowners to Destroy Veggie Garden


May the government prohibit you from peacefully and productively using your own property to feed your family?    

For 17 years, Hermine Ricketts and her husband Tom Carroll used their front yard to grow food for their own personal consumption.  And for 17 years, nobody had a problem with it . . . until now.  In May 2013, Miami Shores Village, Fla. amended its ordinance to make clear that front-yard vegetable gardens were prohibited.  Only vegetables are explicitly banned—trees, fruit and garden gnomes are just fine.

A few days later, the Village’s code enforcement department served Hermine and Tom with a notice informing them they were in violation of the front-yard vegetable ban.  The department threatened them with fines of $50 per day if they did not destroy their beautiful garden.  Unable to bear the cost of such hefty fines, Hermine and Tom had no option but to surrender to the government’s demands and uproot the garden.

The battle, however, is far from over.  Hermine and Tom are part of a nationwide movement of small-scale food producers and consumers who are tired of the government dictating what foods they can grow, sell, and eat.  On November 19, 2013, they joined with the Institute for Justice to challenge Miami Shores’ senseless front-yard vegetable garden ban.  Their case aims to vindicate the right of all Americans to peacefully use their own property to support their own families.

This case is part of IJ’s National Food Freedom Initiative, view our Minnesota Cottage Food case and our Oregon Raw Milk case.

Essential Background

Audio, Video and Images

Backgrounder: An Afront To Gardeners Everywhere: Miami Shores Forces Homeowners To Destroy Their Front-Yard Vegetable Garden

Client Video

Client Photos

Latest Release: Judge Denies Miami Shores’ Motion to Dismiss Front-Yard Vegetable Garden Lawsuit (May 7, 2014) Press conference video (November 19, 2013)

Launch Release: Miami Shores Couple Files Lawsuit Over Ban on Front-Yard Vegetable Gardens (November 19, 2013)

Legal Briefs and Decisions

Opposition to Motion to Dismiss (March 6, 2014)

Motion to Dismiss (January 10, 2014)

Complaint (November 19, 2013)

Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit: 


November 19, 2013

Court Filed:


The Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida



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 Current Court: The Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida


  Next Key Date:


Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

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Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Article: Couple’s lawsuit over veggie garden will continue Miami Herald (May 7, 2014)

Article: Couple sues Miami Shores for ordering removal of vegetable garden Miami Herald (November 19, 2013)

Video: Miami Shores Sues Village Over Veggies CBS Miami (November 19, 2013)

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Institute for Justice
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Arlington, VA 22203
Tel 703.682.9320, Fax 703.682.9321
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