Legal Memorandum: Manufactured Home Spacing Provision in MN

Issue: What would be needed to challenge the constitutionality of the manufactured home spacing provision of Minn. Stat. 327.20, subd. 3 (2012)?

Area of Law: Administrative Law, Administrative Law & Regulation (Federal and State), Real Estate Law
Keywords: Manufactured home; Constitutional challenge
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 584 N.W.2d 11; 693 N.W.2d 412
Cited Statutes: Minn. Stat. § 327.20, subd. 3 (2012)
Date: 11/01/2012

Under Minn. Stat. § 327.20, subd. 3 (2012) a vehicle may be parked between manufactured homes provided it is at least ten feet from the nearest adjacent manufactured home position.

The courts are very reluctant to declare legislation, whether a statute or ordinance unconstitutional.  “We presume statutes to be constitutional and exercise the power to declare a statute unconstitutional with extreme caution and only when absolutely necessary.”  ILHC, LLC v. Dakota County, 693 N.W.2d 412, 421 (Minn. 2005) (internal quotation marks omitted).  Accord Associated Builders & Contractors v. Ventura, 610 N.W.2d 293, 298-99 (Minn. 2000).  The party challenging the statute bears the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that it violates a constitutional right.  In re Conservatorship of Foster, 547 N.W.2d 81, 85 (Minn. 1996).

If no suspect classification or fundamental right is involved, an equal protection challenge to the statute under either the U.S. Constitution or the Minnesota Constitution will be determined using the rational-basis standard.  See Arcadia Dev. Corp. City of Bloomington, 552 N.W.2d 281, 288 (Minn. Ct. App. 1996) (“When legislation is not based on a suspect class and does not infringe on a fundamental right, it need only be rationally related to a legitimate governmental purpose in order to withstand federal equal protection or substantive due process challenges.”).  However, as explained in Greene v. Comm’r Minn. Dep’t of Human Servs., 755 N.W.2d 713 (Minn. 2008), a more slightly more stringent standard applies under the Minnesota test:

Under the […]


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