Christina M. Martin

Senior Attorney Florida

Christina Martin is a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, where she fights to bring justice to her clients and set precedents that protect individuals across the country from government overreach.

Christina served as co-counsel and second-chair before the U.S. Supreme Court in Knick v. Township of Scott, a landmark case that opened the federal courthouse doors to federal constitutional takings claims and overturned a bad 34-year-old Supreme Court decision. She was also on the litigation team representing several family landowners, including Markle Interests, in another victorious Supreme Court case, Weyerhaeuser v. United States Fish & Wildlife Service, an 8-0 win for the property owners.

Christina’s current practice focuses largely on ending home equity theft, the unconstitutional taking of valuable homes and land as payment for relatively small property tax debts. She was lead counsel before the Michigan Supreme Court in one such case where her client’s entire rental home was taken as payment for an $8.41 tax debt. Her advocacy also led to a new law passed in Montana that will protect homes from such unconstitutional theft of equity. Under the new law, tax delinquent homes in Montana will be sold to the highest bidder, debts paid off, and the extra profits will be refunded to the former owner.

Her writings have been featured in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Hill, and Willamette Law Review. She is also a frequent guest on radio shows, has spoken at conferences, and has been a guest lecturer at universities.

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. 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.

When not working, Christina enjoys painting landscapes, traveling with her husband, and exploring new restaurants and coffee shops.

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...

Navigable Waters Cases

Fighting government’s make-believe, illegal definition of navigable waters

The Clean Water Act (CWA) has a seemingly simple purpose: protect the navigable waters of the United States from pollution. The federal agencies charged with carrying out and enforcing the law, however, have expanded the definition of “navigable waters” several times since the Act went on the books in 1972. Represented by PLF free of ch ...

Erica Perez Perez v. Wayne County

Family fights home equity theft to protect the American Dream

Though Erica Perez and her family spent most of their lives in New Jersey, they had their sights set on Detroit to join their relatives who already lived there. In 2012, Erica and her father Romualdo bought a property containing a four-unit apartment building and a dilapidated single-family home in Detroit for $60,000. They spent three years fixing ...

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September 15, 2021

The Oregonian: Oregon gives a cold shoulder to love letters

Don't even think about sending a love letter. If you are buying a home in Oregon, that is. In today's very competitive real estate market, buyers' love letters are a common practice to try to get a little more attention and sympathy from a seller. Buyers can tell sellers what they really love about the ...

August 10, 2021

The Detroit News: A reminder to counties: Do not steal from residents

A just government cannot oppress the poor or exploit relatively small mistakes to seize lifesavings at their residents' expense. And yet, Michigan counties are fighting in courts across the state to do just that. After the Michigan Supreme Court ruled last year that counties violated property owners' rights by keeping surplus funds from tax-foreclo ...

May 07, 2021

Great news: North Dakota ends home equity theft

Co-authored with Michael Fedorchak, the state director for AFP North Dakota. There is cause for celebration in North Dakota, as it joins the growing list of states that forbid home equity theft. Until recently, local North Dakota officials could seize and sell valuable properties when the owners fall behind on property tax payments and then ...

February 18, 2021

Daily Journal: U.S. Supreme Court asked to protect property-tax debtors’ right to notice warning of equity theft

To collect $1,200 plus interest, a Nebraska county took Walter Barnette's land worth $25,000 and gave it to an investor. Walter didn't get a penny of his equity in the land, and he had no idea he was in danger of losing it. According to Nebraska's property tax law, this was perfectly legal. Given the extreme consequences, you might think th ...

February 05, 2021

Jurist: Tax lien foreclosures in Massachusetts or legalized home theft

In some states, missing a tax payment could cost you your home. That's exactly what happened to one family from Easton, Massachusetts. Although brothers Neil and Mark Mucciaccio owned their house outright, they struggled to keep up with rising property taxes when their family experienced several medical and financial hardships. When the brothers fa ...

October 27, 2020

The Supreme Court could end home equity theft this upcoming term

If you are late on your property taxes, can the government take more than you owe in taxes, penalties, interest, and costs? PLF filed a petition on behalf of Elliot Feltner, asking the U.S Supreme Court to answer that important question. If granted, the Court could end predatory tax foreclosures that allow the government to take a windfal ...

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