Christina M. Martin

Attorney Florida

Christina Martin is an attorney at PLF’s Florida office in Palm Beach Gardens. She litigates cases around the country to protect individual rights, property rights, and the rule of law.  She is admitted to the state bars of Florida and Oregon, as well as various federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

Since graduating law school in 2008, Christina has dedicated her career to advancing liberty and limiting the reach of government.  She started by working at a think tank, developing and advocating policies to limit state government and promote educational options for K-12 students.

During this time, she met a PLF client who faced significant fines and whose small moving business would have been shut down without PLF’s help.  Oregon law effectively gave competitors the power to ban new moving businesses. A PLF lawsuit challenged the law and swiftly ended the unfair regulation. From that time on, she was a huge PLF fan.

In 2012, Christina joined PLF to litigate for liberty. Since then, she has sued the government for stealing from individuals, violating free speech, and ignoring the very rules that the government is charged to uphold.

She still enjoys developing policy ideas for laws that better recognize and protect unalienable rights, but now she sues the government to protect individuals when the government violates those rights.

Christina earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Washington in Seattle. She earned her J.D. from Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and was an editor of the Ave Maria Law Review.

When not working, Christina enjoys painting landscapes and traveling with her husband.

Timbs v. Indiana

Excessive Fines Clause applies to all governments

PLF has joined a crucial case brought by our allies at Institute for Justice to address a situation faced by many PLF clients—fines and forfeitures that far outweigh their alleged offenses. Tyson Timbs argues in a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court that such disproportionate punishments by state and local governments violate the Eighth Amendment& ...

Pacetta, LLC v. The Town of Ponce Inlet

Asking the Supreme Court to revive property rights protections

Urged by the town of Ponce Inlet, Florida, Lyder and Simone Johnson bought a number of land parcels and planned a new development through their business, Pacetta, LLC. Town leaders wanted the development so badly, they began revamping the town’s comprehensive land use plan, which would not have allowed the project at the time. But after an el ...

Taylor v. Polhill, et al

Florida’s outdated licensing robs hearing, livelihoods

In Florida, you need a license to sell hearing aids. Dan Taylor of Melbourne, Florida, gave up his license after 30 years, because Florida’s outdated regulations were made for older models, not the updated, technologically sophisticated models he and his customers prefer. In a federal lawsuit on behalf of Dan, PLF argues that Florida’s ...

Nemhauser v. City of Mount Dora

City apologizes after violating First Amendment rights

What started as artistic expression in Mount Dora, Florida, escalated into a bureaucratic nightmare for Nancy Nemhauser and Lubomir Jastrzebski. When the couple painted a van Gogh-style “The Starry Night” mural on a wall outside their house, the city declared the art “graffiti” because it didn’t match the color of the ...

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 mos ...

Coastal Rights Coalition v. California Coastal Commission

California coastal homeowners at risk by Coastal Commission’s illegal seawall policy

When coastal property owners seek permits for new residential development, the California Coastal Commission requires them to agree never to build a seawall to protect the structure from storms and erosion. This policy was imposed by fiat, without public notice, hearings, and opportunity for public comment, as required by the California Administra ...

Latest Posts

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June 14, 2019

How local governments are using foreclosure laws to steal people’s homes

A few years ago, my husband and I rented a car while visiting Italy. We had great fun driving to small towns off the beaten path. But about six months after we returned, I received a $250 ticket in the mail for accidentally driving onto a "locals only" road. If we had received the ticket ...

May 10, 2019

National coalition joins PLF against government-sanctioned home theft

PLF client Uri Rafaeli accidentally underpaid the property taxes on his Southfield Michigan house by $8.41. So Oakland County took Rafaeli's house to collect on the small debt. The County also took PLF client Andre Ohanessian's 2.7 acres of valuable land in Orchard Village to collect a $6,000 debt. The County sold both properties and ...

May 08, 2019

New Montana Law will save homes by ending state’s predatory tax foreclosure system

During the last recession, Gary Guidotti, a 78-year old electrician in Cascade County, Montana, fell behind on his property taxes. Under Montana's tax law, the county took his home because of the $1,125 tax debt and sold it to investors for pennies on the dollar. Guidotti lost everything while investors reaped a windfall—taking absolute title ...

March 29, 2019

Wayside Church case comes back to life in federal court

When Wayside Church fell behind on its 2011 property taxes on a parcel that the church had used as a youth camp, Van Buren County took the youth camp property and sold it for $206,000 to pay the church's $16,750 in taxes, penalties, interest, and fees. Similarly, the County kept the surplus proceeds—$189,250 more than ...

March 15, 2019

Proposed law would save homes from state’s predatory tax foreclosure system

In 2014, Uri Rafaeli was shocked to learn that his local government seized his $60,000 rental house to collect an $8.41 tax debt. Rafaeli had paid all his 2012 and 2013 property taxes, and first part of his 2014 obligation. But he had mistakenly underpaid his 2011 taxes by a few dollars. The county foreclosed ...

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 ...

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