13/11/2009 09:16 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Too Young To Stay: Six-Year-Old Girl Faces Eviction

US public opinion has been gripped by the heartbreaking dilemma facing little Kimberly Broffman.

The six-year-old is being asked to leave the home she shares with her grandparents in a Florida retirement community because rules stipulate that only over 55s can live there.

A decision is expected to be made in the case which pitches human compassion against petty bureaucracy.

Jimmy and Judie Stottler have cared for their granddaughter since her mother lost custody four years ago owing to a chronic drug problem.

Aware that they have been breaking the law, the couple have tried desperately to sell their home and move with Kimberly, but having had no luck so far they fear the authorities may place the girl in foster care.


The housing authority are pursuing the case after having attempted to settle the issue out of court. However they now feel they must take steps to enforce the rules which the couple agreed to when they initially moved into the community.

Representatives for the housing authority claim they are trying to protect the interests of other households in the retirement community who have abided by the over 55s only rule. But public opinion weighs heavily on the side of the little girl who is in danger of losing the one area of stability in her troubled life.

Whilst it is tragic that these loving grandparents are seemingly being penalised for doing the right thing and taking responsibility for their grandchild, can it justify allowing them to break the rules? And if an exception is made in this case, what will stop others from breaking the law in future?

With free legal representation and offers of alternative accommodation flooding in, it seems the American public are determined to give the story of the little girl who has already lost so much, a happy ending.

Ultimately it's now up to a judge to attempt to strike a balance between the obvious compassion for the family, and the need to enforce the law and protect the rights of their neighbours. It's a tough decision.

Would you make an exception and let the girl stay, or should everyone be made obey the law?