D.C. Court Issues Temporary Order Prohibiting Man From Smoking In His Home After Neighbors Sue

Image courtesy of (WJLA.com)

(WJLA.com)

(WJLA.com)

No home is an island, especially when it shares walls with other houses. As such, a Superior Court judge in Washington, D.C. has issued a temporary order banning a man from smoking inside his home, after his neighbors filed a lawsuit claiming that the fumes were harmful to their health.

The court order says no one inside the home can smoke anything — from tobacco to marijuana — in the Northeast D.C. home that the man’s family has owned for 50 years, reports WJLA.com.

“We were floored,” the man’s sister says, saying she’s shocked that a lawsuit could dictate what the family does in its own home.

New neighbors who moved in next door claimed in a civil lawsuit seeking $500,000 in damages that they’re being harmed by smoke that they say comes in through a hole in their basement, specifically noting that they have one child and another on the way who could be affected adversely from the fumes. They say in court fillings that they tried to work with the man and his sister but filed the suit when mediation attempts failed.

“I think it’s an excellent precedent to start, so people can realize you can’t just ignore your neighbor,” real estate attorney and Washington Post columnist Benny Kass told WJLA, calling the decision “surprising.” “Your home is no longer your castle.”

But the family seems to view the injunction as a slippery slope, and have vowed to keep fighting the decision.

“If this judge has done this, who will be next? What other neighbor will be next?” the sister asked.

D.C. man can’t smoke in own home due to temporary, precedent-setting court order [WJLA]