Fair v. Continental Resources

Nebraska widower fights government-sanctioned home equity theft

The outside world came to a screeching halt for Kevin Fair in 2013. His wife, Terry, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and Kevin had to quit his job so he could care for her at their Scottsbluff, Nebraska, home where they'd lived for nearly two decades—the home was a wedding gift from Kevin's mother. ...

Row homes along the Royal Street in the French Quarter
Ariyan Inc. v. Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans

Fighting for timely just compensation for government-damaged property

Hemorrhaging money and time, and unable to repair their properties or restore their businesses, these small businesses and property owners are asking the Supreme Court to confirm their constitutional right to reasonably timely just compensation. ...

Mark Shirley and Ole Time Smokehouse v. Town of Farmville, et al.

Food truck entrepreneur defends livelihood from North Carolina town’s unlawful interference

Mark Shirley was making a good living as the general manager of an auto dealership in Eastern North Carolina, but even his comfortable salary couldn't feed his lifelong passion for cooking. So, in September 2019, after a year of exhaustive research into the restaurant industry, Mark left his profitable job to launch a food truck business called Ole ...

Foreclosure Large
Tyler v. Hennepin County

94-year-old grandmother fights home equity theft in Minnesota

Home equity is private property, however, and is just as protected as a home or land. Government can't avoid its obligation to pay just compensation for a property's equity by simply saying the home equity doesn't exist. Now, at 94 years old and in a senior-living facility, Geraldine is fighting back in the U.S. Supreme Court. ...

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 ...

Constitutional Rights of public workers
Jackson v. Napolitano

California law keeps workers ignorant of their constitutional rights

In 2018, the Supreme Court emphasized in Janus v. AFSCME that public employees have a First Amendment right to refuse to pay a union, and "must choose to support the union before anything is taken from them." Before the state can authorize a union to deduct dues payments from employee paychecks, workers must give their clear permission.  After Jan ...

Ostrewich v. Hudspeth

Your shirt or your vote: Fighting to protect free speech at the ballot box

When Jillian Ostrewich entered her Houston, Texas, polling place in 2018, she expected the only decisions she'd face would be on the ballot. Instead, an election judge gave her an ultimatum: turn her shirt inside out or forfeit her vote. A federal judge overturned Texas' election apparel law because the First Amendment protects passive political sp ...

Rentberry v. City of Seattle

Seattle’s unconstitutional rent-bidding law blocks innovation, free speech

Rentberry is a small San Francisco-based start-up that connects landlords and renters through a website that uses innovative technology to allow users to bid for rental housing. The company hoped to expand its service to Seattle, but, in 2018, the city council adopted a one-year moratorium on rent-bidding websites over unfounded fears that such sit ...

Yim v. City of Seattle (I)

Seattle wages unconstitutional war on landlords

In a misguided effort to combat racial discrimination, the City of Seattle passed a series of ordinances forbidding local landlords from choosing their own tenants. A "first in time" rule requires landlords to rent to the first financially-qualified tenant who applies. And the "Fair Chance Housing Ordinance" forbids landlords from considering appli ...