The Mentally Retarded and Private Restrictive Covenants
Thomas F. Guernsey
Thomas Jefferson School of Law; Albany Law School
William & Mary Law Review, Vol. 25, p. 421, 1984
The Article provides an analytical framework for a court’s analysis of covenants restricting group homes. It examines the ordinary rules of statutory interpretation to show that they allow private individuals to exclude group homes. It then discusses whether a state, in its exercise of eminent domain, must compensate surrounding landowners when the state takes property subject to a private restrictive covenant in order to establish a group home. The Article then discusses the constitutionality of restrictive covenants, the circumstances under which public policy may prevent enforcement of restrictive covenants, and whether states may enact statutes to limit the scope of restrictive covenants.
The judicial trend has been to allow the establishment of group homes in residential neighborhoods and in single-family residences. However, the courts have often failed to delineate the legal basis for allowing this action. A well drafted restrictive covenant may give a court no choice but to compensate the property owner for abrogation of the covenant
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Date posted: May 22, 2010