Front yard of Janice Duffner in St. Peters.

(Janice Duffner)

St. Peters Woman Faces Possible Jail Time for Planting Flowers, Not Grass in Her Yard

Her lawyer says Janice Duffner planted flowers in her yard at 1 Fishers Hill Dr. because she's allergic to grass.

January 16, 2019 - 10:53 am
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ST. PETERS, Mo (KMOX) - A St. Peters woman who planted flowers instead of grass in her yard will have her case heard before a federal appeals court, Wednesday.  

Her attorney says Janice Duffner faces up to $375,000 in fines and prison time for violating a St. Peter's ordinance that requires at least half of each yard to contain turf grass.

Roland says Duffner planted flowers in her yard at 1 Fishers Hill Dr. because she's allergic to grass. Last year, a federal judge sided with the city of St. Peters.

Roland hopes to have the ruling overturned on appeal and says the case will set a precedent either way for the property rights of homeowners and the size of penalties local towns can impose for people who violate property laws.

"Years ago she tore out all the grass in her yard, replaced it with a beautiful flower garden," Roland says. "All of the plants that she grows are lawful. It's beautiful. The city has acknowledged it's beautiful, it's well maintained. There are not weeds or vermin in this yard, it's just that the city commands her to grow a plant that makes her sick."

See photos of Duffner's lawn, here.

Also today, the appeals court will hear a case that could decide whether police can pull over a car and search it, just because they haven't seen it before in their town.