Grand-Father Clause

What does Grand-Father Clause mean?

The Definition

A grandfather clause is a stipulation or provision exempting people who are already engaged in a certain activity from any rules that could be given to others. It is a contractual or statuatory provision that allows certain people to continue with the activities they are involved in without needing to submit or abide by any rules that could limit or change the status of their previous activity. In most cases, this is due to a policy change or rules change that was implemented after the person or persons already agreed to the contract. Since some of these rules changes can drastically affect a person's status with the activity, the rules change wouldn't apply to them. The rules would only apply to new people coming into the activity who have not experienced anything different in the past. A grandfather clause would allow existing members or existing people within the activity or contract to go about their business as usual, unchanged by the new implemented rules.

Example of a Grandfather Clause

Mary has owned fifteen acres of land for over twenty years. On this land, she holds and raises livestock such as horses, cows, chickens, and goats. However, the city recently came out with a new prdinance stating that no land in her area is allowed to utilize the property for purposes of raising or taking care of animals or livestock. Land in the city can only be used for commercial, retail, or housing purposes. However, in this new ordinance, there is a grandfather clause, allowing landowners like Mary to continue raising their animals or livestock as they had before, and they do not have to abide by these new ordinances and regulations. The only people that are required to abide by these new rules are people who become new landowners in the area after the ordinance has been passed and implemented.

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