This week, San Diego won a major victory in its bid to deregulate taxicabs. A California superior court judge ruled against a group of taxi companies seeking to prevent the city from issuing any new taxi permits. IJ intervened in the case to represent two taxi drivers who simply wanted to work for themselves. In…
Institute for Justice | Liberty in Action | November 20, 2015
Sidewalk vending gives aspiring and hard-working entrepreneurs a chance to provide for their families and pursue the American dream. But Los Angeles bans the practice, turning tens of thousands of Angelenos into criminals. With its low capital and training requirements, sidewalk vending can be a chance to earn a living for people with few other…
Yesterday, we filed a lawsuit in New Mexico to shut down the City of Albuquerque’s illegal civil forfeiture machine. Albuquerque’s civil forfeiture program is a civil liberties nightmare. The City takes over a thousand cars each year, and rakes in over $1 million, without having to convict anyone of a crime. The City claims authority to take cars where…
New Ordinance Repeals 300-Foot Ban against Food Trucks
San Antonio—Today, the San Antonio City Council repealed a decades-old law that prohibits food trucks from operating within 300 feet of any restaurant, grocer or convenience store. The change comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice (IJ) last month on behalf of four San Antonio food truck owners. “San Antonio’s…
San Diego—In a major victory for taxi drivers and riders, Superior Court Judge Gregory Pollack has ruled against a group of San Diego cab companies who sought to stop the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) from issuing any new taxi permits. The ruling rejects all of the cab companies’ legal arguments and brings the case to…
Institute for Justice Lawsuit Seeks to Police the Police and Shut Down Albuquerque’s Civil Forfeiture Machine
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—New Mexicans ended civil forfeiture this summer, or so they thought. Despite passing landmark legislation outlawing the use of civil forfeiture statewide, cities across the state are ignoring the law and continue to seize and keep individual’s property without convicting them of a crime. Now, a lawsuit filed today by a bipartisan pair of…
This November, for the 14th consecutive year, IJ earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating—four-stars—for financial health, accountability and transparency. As Charity Navigator puts it: Less than 1% of the charities we rate have received at least 14 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Institute for Justice outperforms most other charities in America. This ‘exceptional’ designation from Charity…
For decades, Isis Brantley has fought for her right to braid hair and to pass on her knowledge to others. She successfully sued the state of Texas after it attempted to force her to turn her braiding school into a barber college.
Michael Peticolas owns Peticolas Brewing, located in an industrial neighborhood near downtown Dallas. In 2013, Texas passed a law that prohibits brewers from negotiating with distributors for the value of their territorial rights. Instead, the law forces brewers to give those rights away for free. That jeopardizes his plans to expand into other parts of Texas.
Rett owns Revolver Brewing, south of Fort Worth. He is fighting a Texas law that forces brewers to give up their distribution rights to distributors for free. Even worse, distributors can then sell those rights to other distributors and pocket the money.
IJ client Elmer Kilian has been preparing taxes for the past 30 years on his dining room table. He fought and successfully defended his right to earn an honest living without getting permission from the IRS.
Jim and Cliff Courtney have a plan to bring economic prosperity to their small community. Unfortunately, the state of Washington has sunk their plan with a law that requires them to obtain a certificate of “public convenience and necessity” from the state in order to pick up and drop off passengers.
Khalid (“Ken”) Quran moved to America in 1997, and now runs a convenience store in Greenville, N.C. But the government seized his entire bank account—more than $150,000—even though he was never charged with a crime.
Dr. Mark Baumel, of Colon Health Centers for America, wants to increase the rate of screening for colon cancers. But when Dr. Baumel and his partners sought Virginia’s permission to buy new CT scanners, it denied them a “certificate of need.”
Chris and Markela Sourovelis worked their whole lives to build a home for their family. Officials in Philadelphia then tried to use civil forfeiture to take it all away, even though Chris and Markela did nothing wrong.
Florence and Derrick would like their children to attend a Catholic high school in Aurora, Colo. But paying tuition for both children to attend Regis would be a substantial financial burden, so scholarships by Douglas County’s school choice program would help defray costs.
Charles Clarke is a college student, who spent over 5 years to save up $11,000—only to have it seized by law enforcement officials before he was scheduled to board a flight at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport.
Terry Dehko and his family have owned and operated the Schott’s Market in Fraser, Mich., for 35 years. The Dehkos had $35,000 taken from them by federal law enforcement officials through a process known as civil forfeiture.
IJ client Cynthia Perry wants to send her daughter, Faith, to a private school in North Carolina, but she cannot afford the tuition on her own. She needs the financial lifeline of an Opportunity Scholarship.
IJ client Jane Astramecki, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, runs a home baking business. But Minnesota’s restrictive cottage food law bans her from earning more than $5,000 a year and from selling her treats at venues other than farmers’ markets and community events.
The Archdiocese of Newark is one of the largest in terms of population in the U.S., with nearly 1.3 million Catholics and 219 parishes. The Archdiocese is fighting a New Jersey law that makes it a crime to sell monuments, such as headstones, to their parishioners.
Under Red Wing, Minn.’s rental inspection ordinance, it is easier for the government to force its way into the homes of law-abiding citizens than it is to search the home of a suspected criminal. Robert and Rebecca joined a lawsuit to stop these unreasonable and intrusive inspections of their private residential properties.
Dr. Mark Monteferrante wants to build a new, top-notch medical facility in Virginia. But under the commonwealth’s certificate of need (CON) program, he first has to persuade government officials that his facility would be “needed.”
Aimee and Heath Hairr have five adopted children. Their oldest, Nolan, was floundering in his public school and endured intense bullying. The Hairrs just want Nolan to have a safe learning environment and for their other children to have the same.
Valarie has received a set of warnings from Pagedale, threatening her with fines and fees for alleged violations. She was even arrested in front of her home and taken to Pagedale city hall because of an unspecified ticket.
Norys Hernandez co-owns a home in North Philadelphia with her sister, who resides there. Norys has never been in trouble with the law. But her home was seized after her nephew was caught selling a small amount of drugs outside the home.
When John tried to expand his cab business to Bowling Green, he was stymied by a city law that limited the number of taxis allowed in the city to only 16. Less than two months after he filed a lawsuit, Bowling Green repealed the cap.
Lyndon McLellan has spent more than a decade running L&M Convenience Mart in rural North Carolina. Then, without any warning, agents from the IRS seized his entire bank account, totaling more than $107,000.
IJ client Dr. Ben Burris is an Arkansas orthodontist who wants to offer low-cost teeth cleanings to people who cannot otherwise afford them. But it is illegal for him to perform basic dental services, even though he is a licensed dentist.
The Washington Department of Licensing ordered IJ client Salamata Sylla to obtain a time-consuming and irrelevant cosmetology license for hair braiding. IJ sued on her behalf and forced the Department to adopt a rule exempting braiders.
After obtaining her private certifications in canine massage therapy, Grace started volunteering with rescue agencies and adoption events to provide canine massage for ailing and neglected dogs. She later turned her volunteer hobby into a business, which she named Pawsitive Touch.
Teresa Quinones, of Lawrenceville, Ga., is a mother of three young children. Her two oldest children, Audri and Christopher, attend Notre Dame Academy, thanks to Georgia’s Scholarship Tax-Credit Program.
IJ By the Numbers
4 Litigation Pillars
86% from individuals
14% from foundations
5 U.S. Supreme Court cases since 2002, including 4 victories
IJ is currently litigating42 cases in 24 states and Washington, D.C.