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 ...

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 similar rezon ...

Federal lawsuit filed to protect private ranch property
Hollister Ranch Owners’ Association v. Xavier Becerra

Ranch owners fight legislation that gives the government unfettered access to private, sensitive coastal land and potentially punishes owners for defending their way of life

Hollister Ranch, California, is widely known for its 150 years as a working cattle ranch and for its biologically significant coastal habitat spread across miles of shoreline downcoast of California's Point Conception. Over the years, the ranch has carefully restricted development and activity on its 14,400 acres in order to protect the existing en ...

Goleta Santa Barbara
Wall v. Cal. Coastal Commission

Family challenges government’s arbitrary, unlawful permit conditions

In 2018, the Wall family wanted to build a swimming pool next to their home on their property in Hollister Ranch, California. Like all land owners within the 14,500-acre, century-old working cattle ranch, the Walls needed a permit. Santa Barbara County approved the project; however, the California Coastal Commission denied the permit. The Commissio ...

Adobe Stock
Zito v. North Carolina Coastal Resource Commission; Town of Nags Head

Fighting government’s blurred lines on property rights

All Michael and Cathy Zito wanted to do was rebuild their vacation cottage in Nags Head, North Carolina after fire destroyed it in 2016. But state and local governments denied building permits because the property is now within a no-build zone. The Zitos were left with the only vacant lot in a line of beach homes and can do little more than pitch a ...

Ballinger v. City of Oakland

Unconstitutional tenant relocation scheme hurts families, housing

When the Air Force reassigned Lyndsey and Sharon Ballinger to Washington DC, in 2015, they kept their house in Oakland, California, renting it on a month-to-month lease so they could return to it. When the couple and their two small children came home this spring, a new city law forced them to pay their tech-sector tenants $6,500—for the right to ...

Yawn v. Dorchester County

Fighting for just compensation after government destroys millions of honeybees

With 46 hives and millions of healthy honeybees carefully cultivated on their South Carolina property, Juanita Stanley and Mitch Yawn were eager to begin marketing their new business, Flowertown Bee Farm and Supplies. Before that could happen, however, and with no warning, the County of Dorchester sprayed their property with a toxic pesticide. Inte ...

Foreclosure property
Rafaeli, LLC v. Oakland County

Michigan County Steals House for $8 Debt

In 2014, Oakland County, Michigan foreclosed on a home owned by Uri Rafaeli's business—Rafaeli, LLC—over an $8.41 tax debt. The County sold the property for $24,500, and kept profits. Ditto for Andre Ohanessian, when the County seized and sold his property for $82,000, and pocketed every penny left over from the $6,000 tax debt. While most stat ...

Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

Victory for Free Speech! U.S. Supreme Court ruling protects political self-expression

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a polling-place dress code in Minnesota, upholding free speech rights across the nation and protecting the right of Americans to peacefully express their political views at the polls. PLF represented Minnesota voters, including Andy Cilek, who showed up at his polling place wearing a t-shirt that read "Don't t ...