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Author: Christina Martin

February 20, 2019

Supreme Court vindicates all Americans’ right to be free from excessive fines

Today the Supreme Court held that the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from being excessively fined by all levels of government in this country—not just the federal government. The decision in this case, Timbs v. Indiana, is a significant victory that limits the abusive use of fees and fines by state and local officials—abuse that frequen ...

February 14, 2019

Uri Rafaeli takes a stand for traditional property rights

Can the government constitutionally take your house if you are tardy paying an $8 property tax debt? PLF client Uri Rafaeli is asking the Michigan Supreme Court that very question. In 2014, Rafaeli was shocked to learn that Oakland County in Michigan had taken title to his $60,000 rental house to collect an $8.41 debt. ...

January 16, 2019

Supreme Court Set To Decide A Critical Property Ownership Case

Originally published by The Daily Caller, January 16, 2019. Much of what happens inside the Supreme Court is shrouded in mystery. So Rose Knick doesn't know why she has the rare distinction of having the court hear her case twice this session. But that won't stop spectators from guessing, especially with the unusual circumstances surrounding ...

January 10, 2019

Southwest ranchers are fighting back against federal bureaucrats’ abusive word games

Making a living ranching or farming in the harsh desert lands of American southwest is demanding enough. But federal bureaucrats have managed to make it even harder by playing word games to stretch the limits of federal law beyond recognition. That's the case for ranchers in Hidalgo County, New Mexico, where the U.S. Fish and ...

January 04, 2019

Former homeowner fights Gratiot County’s theft of home

In 2017, officials in Gratiot County, Michigan, seized Donald Freed's $97,000 home to pay an overdue tax debt of $1,100. The county sold his property at auction for $42,000 and kept all of the proceeds from the sale. Shockingly Michigan’s property tax law requires this all-too-common practice. It's a nice racket for the county, which ...

December 08, 2018

For $8.41 in Unpaid Taxes, the Government Took Uri Rafaeli’s House

Originally published by The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2018. How Michigan misuses a procedure meant to target pirate ships and drug lords' mansions. Uri Rafaeli is an 83-year-old engineer and great-grandfather. He never expected the government to treat him like a drug dealer or gang banger. But last year the Michigan Court of Appeals ...