Janice and Carl Duffner turned their entire yard into a flower garden because Janice is allergic.
The city of St. Peters, near St. Louis, Missouri, put the Duffners on notice that they must comply with the city ordinance that says half of residents’ yards must be grass turf, according to the Kansas City Star.
The couple asked for an exemption but were denied. Now they are fighting the ordinance.
After buying their home in 2002, the Duffners reportedly began landscaping that included planting beds, two small ponds, pathways and seating areas.
The St. Peters Board of Aldermen adopted the turf ordinance in 2008.
An anonymous person reportedly complained to the city that the Duffners had no grass and the Board of Adjustment told them to plant at least 5 percent of their property with grass. The couple refused.
The Duffners filed their civil rights action in 2016 and were subject to penalties of $180,000 and 20 years in jail for non-compliance, according to the article.
U.S. District Judge John A. Ross said the Duffners failed to demonstrate that the penalties for violating the turf ordinance are excessive and contrary to the Eighth Amendment.
The Duffner’s attorney said that the couple will appeal.