Christian Mann

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land use, urban development, prostitution, prohibition, progressive movement, garbage removal, nuisance, injunction, zoning, Baltimore


Taylor v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore was decided by the Court of Appeals in 1917. Nettie Taylor sued the city in 1914 because of the disagreeable smell coming from the newly constructed Back River Sewage Treatment Plant. She sued for damages done to her hotel property by the odor. Taylor’s hotel was situated on a tract of land on Back River, in the Essex area. The hotel Taylor owned was partly a brothel as well as a saloon, which was a common establishment in the surrounding area. The Court of Appeals ruled in Taylor’s favor, ordering the city to pay damages for the substantial interference with her property rights.

This paper will begin by analyzing the historical context and trends in which this case arose and how the trends came together in the Taylor case. Following that analysis will be several biographies of the players in the case and their relationships. Finally, the paper will discuss the various stages of the case, including the trial in Howard County, the arguments of each side before the Court of Appeals, and the court’s ruling.


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