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Property Rights

Iten v. County of Los Angeles

Small commercial landlord fights Los Angeles County eviction ban

Howard Iten is a retired auto mechanic who greatly depends on rental income from his one commercial property in Lawndale, California. His current tenant, however, is an auto repair franchisee who has refused to pay much of his rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, even though his business has been fully open the entire time. He owes Howard thousands o ...

Mucciaccio v. Town of Easton and Tallage Lincoln, LLC

A family’s loss is a private company’s windfall in state’s home equity theft scheme

Mark and Neil Mucciaccio treasure their deep family roots in Easton, Massachusetts. In fact, the brothers still live in their childhood home with Mark’s wife, stepdaughter, and two grandchildren. A streak of financial hardship and family medical troubles that began in 2013 left them struggling to keep up with their property tax bills. In 2016 ...

Feltner v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision

Ohio county’s illegal tax foreclosure robs property owner and taxpayers

Elliot Feltner inherited his father-in-law’s Cleveland, Ohio, autobody shop in 2012 and discovered the property, while valued at $144,500, had a property tax debt of more than $65,000. He decided to sell it to pay the debt and even found a buyer, but before he could complete a sale, the county took his property without paying him for his $80, ...

Seider v. City of Malibu

Property rights on the line in family’s battle for beachfront signage

Dennis and Leah Seider simply want to alert beachgoers to where the public right of access to the beach ends, the Seiders’ private Malibu property begins, and the way to the nearby public beach. Their best hope to protect their property rights and avoid potential confrontations with beachgoers would be a sign. But that hope faded when they le ...

cement building Adamski v. California Coastal Commission

Builders battle the California Coastal Commission’s basement ban

When Chris Adamski, a Monterey County, California contractor, and his longtime mentor and friend Mike Pietro bought four properties in the county’s Carmel Point neighborhood in 2014, they planned to develop two houses to sell, and then build one house for each of them—Chris for his large family, and Mike for retirement. The California Coast ...

foreclosure Barnette v. HBI, LLC

Taking tax-foreclosed property requires proper notice

In 2002, Walter Barnette was working in the Omaha suburb of Bellevue when he spotted an acre of land in a growing neighborhood. Though he lives across the nearby border with Iowa, he bought the property with the intent of one day building a home. Walter fell on hard times, however, and failed to pay his 2010 and 2011 property taxes—$986.50—to S ...

Key in Lock El Papel v. City of Seattle

Fighting unlawful eviction bans masked as a pandemic response

In the wake of COVID-19, Washington State and Seattle joined a number of cities and states to enact emergency eviction bans that eliminated landlords’ ability to evict tenants who violate lease terms, such as by neglecting to pay their rent. Seattle added an ordinance that prohibits landlords from seeking full repayment for up to a year from ...

Shands v. City of Marathon

Government takes family’s land and uses gimmicks to avoid paying for it

The Shands family has owned Shands Key, a small Florida island, since the 1950s. Purchased by World War II surgeon and Mississippi hospital owner Dr. R.E. Shands, the island was originally zoned for residential use and could have been developed with at least seven homes. Today, however, government regulations designed to protect the environment pro ...

Christensen v. California Judicial Council

Fighting for property rights against California Judicial Council’s eviction ban

Eviction is a critical tool for landlords to manage their property by removing tenants who refuse to pay rent or create nuisances and safety hazards. The process allows landlords to remove tenants who deliberately withhold rent or damage property, so that they can aid tenants experiencing hardship and offer housing to good renters—a particularl ...

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