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Environmental Law

What Is a Weed? Mich. Judge Decides, Upholds $100 Lawn Ticket

Posted Feb 10, 2009 3:59 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In a hard-fought municipal ordinance case pitting a Michigan man, supported by local environmental groups, against his township's governing officials, a local judge has weighed in against the flourishing so-called weeds growing in his yard.

"Central to the case is what it means to 'cultivate,' and to a lesser degree, what constitutes a weed," reports the Ann Arbor News.

Homeowner Stanislav Voskov and his counsel contended that his yard was filled with native plants that should not be considered weeds. "There aren't any dandelions! There aren't any dandelions!'' attorney Stephen Safranek told District Judge Cedric Simpson at one point.

But Simpson disagreed.

Saying that his job wasn't to rule on the merits of landscaping with native plants but to determine whether a municipal ordinance banning weeds over 10 inches in height had been violated, the judge upheld a $100 ticket issued by Pittsfield Township, the newspaper reports. He also told the township to seek attorney fees, as restitution.

Voskov says he may appeal.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Jailed Over Brown Lawn, 66-Year-Old Returns Home to Beautiful Yard"

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