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Property Rights

Riddick v. City of Malibu

Holding local California governments accountable for banning “granny flats”

Jason and Elizabeth Riddick live in Malibu, California, with their three children. Elizabeth’s mother, Renee Sperling, is aging with several disabilities, including immunodeficiency. The Riddicks seek to add an attached ADU onto their existing single-family home in order to provide Renee a safe and private place to live. The Riddicks’ m ...

Sheffield v. George P. Bush, GLO Commissioner

Texas moves the public beach onto private, residential properties

Charles Sheffield is a long-time Texan and surfer who bought beachfront homes in Surfside Beach as a retirement investment. Merry Porter is a native Texan and resident of Surfside Beach who owns and uses a small beachfront home for rental income. In March 2021, without prior notice or compensation, the Texas General Land Office moved the public bea ...

Foster v. U.S. Department of Agriculture

Farming family fights government’s unconstitutional restrictions on their livelihood

Arlen and Cindy Foster are third-generation farmers in Miner County, South Dakota. They have a long history of responsible land conservation, including the tree line Arlen’s father planted to prevent erosion. In the winter, deep snow drifts pile in the tree belt and come spring, the melting snow collects in a farm field. A federal agency rule ...

Tyler v. Hennepin County

92-year-old widow fights home equity theft in Minnesota

When crime moved into Geraldine Tyler’s Minneapolis neighborhood in 2010, she moved out. The elderly widow was living alone and, sharing her family’s alarm about her safety, she hastily left behind the one-bedroom condo she owned and rented an apartment in a safer area. While Geraldine and her family focused on her health and safety, un ...

cedar_point-Nursery Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid

Supreme Court affirms property rights for California fruit growers

Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing Company are California growers that produce fruit for millions of Americans. Collectively, they employ around 3,000 Californians. In 2015, the United Farm Workers (UFW) viewed the workers as ripe for the picking and sent union organizers to storm the workplaces during harvest time to encourage them to unionize ...

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 ...

Andrews v. City of Mentor

Government can’t use zoning permits to erase property rights

Charles Andrews hoped to build a new subdivision on 16 undeveloped acres of land in Mentor, Ohio, that’s been in his family for more than 50 years. For the development to be economically feasible, however, he needed a zoning change to a higher residential density zone. The city denied Charles’ request, ending a streak of approvals for s ...

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, ...

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