1971 - residency battle
Out-of-Town Family Costs Fireman 9s Job BY PETER BENJAMINSON Free Press Staff Writer A Wayne County Circuit Court judge ruled Wednesday that Detroit is legally entitled to fire a fireman whose family does not live Vvith him within the city limits. The ruling, by Judge Benjamin D. Burdick, came in the form of (he dismissal of an appeal by Detroit Fireman Dale Grable, . 36,. whose wife and seven children live in a White Lake Township cottage. CITY OFFICIALS said Wednesday the ruling also serves to validate the Detroit ordinance requiring all its fire fighters to live within the city limits. A 14-year veteran of the Fire Department who was twice decorated for heroism, Grable maintains an apartment inside the city with another fireman and pays the standard fwo percent city resident income tax. Grable has said that requiring his wife and children to live in the city, would violate their civil rights and that he would rather be fired then move them in. He said that uniting the family in Detroit would cause him irreparable financial hardship. According to Burdick's opinion, which observers said will, probably be appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court, "a fire fighter is not effectively a resident of the city when his family resides elsewhere." The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in August that Detroit's police must live within the city. Similar rulings last year applied the rule to the city's other employees. Burdick wrote that "the most basic urge of civilized man is to devote himself to the defense of his family home. By its residence requirement, the city of Detroit would tap the wellspring of this primal duty for the benefit of the common good." Grable said Wednesday he would have to consult his attorney before deciding what to do next.