After winning his First Amendment right to challenge the timing of yellow lights in court, now Mats Jarlstrom—along with a team of others—has also convinced the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) to reevaluate its guidelines for the timing of traffic signals. In 2017, the Institute for Justice (IJ) partnered with Mats to file a lawsuit…
Charlestown, Ind.—The homeowners in Charlestown’s Pleasant Ridge neighborhood will see Charlestown Mayor Robert Hall and his staff in court on November 12, 2019 for the start of a five-day trial on the homeowners’ claims that the city violated their constitutional rights. Yesterday, Judge Jason M. Mount of Scott County, sitting by special designation in Clark…
CHICAGO—Six South Side entrepreneurs took the stage last night with three crowned winners and all the contestants gaining valuable experience in promoting their unique business ideas. For six years running, the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship (IJ Clinic) has hosted South Side Pitch. Dinobi Detergent, which makes an all natural detergent, took first place…
Yesterday, Judge Staci M. Yandle of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois issued temporary restraining orders protecting two Granite City families from eviction under the city’s compulsory-eviction law. Represented by the Institute for Justice (IJ), the two families had filed civil-rights lawsuits against the city, the first in August and the…
Arlington, Va.—“If the government forces you to install a GPS device and can track your whereabouts, that is a search. But the Illinois Supreme Court ruled otherwise. That is why we are appealing this case to the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Robert Frommer, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice (IJ). IJ recently filed…
After living in her one-bedroom, one-bathroom house for nearly 40 years, Richland, Wash. resident Linda Cameron decided it was time for a renovation. Between visits from her friends and family, her modest home was proving to be too cramped, so she worked with a local builder to draw up plans to add a second bedroom…
Arlington, Virginia—More than 30 amicus (or “friend-of-the-court”) briefs have been filed in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue calling for greater educational choice for parents and their children. Espinoza, which is being litigated by the Institute for Justice (IJ), is expected to set a landmark precedent when it comes to education reform and will decide…
Josh grew up in Pleasant Ridge and he cannot realistically afford to own a home anywhere else.
The Cristofaros were plaintiffs in the infamous Kelo v. New London lawsuit, when the city tried to take their house again. Since the ruling, Mike has become a national spokesperson for property owners fighting eminent domain abuse.
Byron Billingsley was cited by police in Doraville, Georgia for going around a truck traveling at 5 mph—with no other traffic around—without using his turn signal. After hiring a lawyer to defend himself he paid $100. He has to keep driving through Doraville as he works in the city.
After being in prison for two years, when Amanda got out, she became passionate about cosmetology and even got a job offer at a salon before she finished school. But the state board denied her a cosmetology license, claiming she lacked “good moral character.”
Kevin is one of the owners of White Cottage Red Door in Door County, Wisconsin. When the small business opened a food truck in its parking lot, the Town of Gibraltar’s board, chaired by a local restaurant owner, promptly banned all mobile businesses.
After eight years of working as a driver for Yellow Cab, Ken Leininger decided to start his own business. But when Ken tried to get permits for his new business early last year, Little Rock denied his applications.
This caveman blogger fought for free speech and Internet freedom.
Regino Soriano owns a popular food truck named El Bandolero, but his plans to expand have been significantly restricted by San Antonio’s city’s 300-foot rule.
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.
Spencer Byrd, a Chicago resident and part-time auto mechanic, who had his car impounded after he gave a client ride who got arrested for drugs. A Cook County Circuit Court judge ordered that his car be returned, but Chicago will not release Spencer’s car until he pays all of the towing and storage fees—more than $17,000.
Abdi immigrated to the United States in the 1990s, after fleeing the civil war in his native Somalia. He is a longtime taxi driver who want to go into business for himself.
Kriss Marion is the founder of her local farmers’ market in Blanchardville, Wisconsin. But under the state’s ban on selling home-baked goods, Kriss must instead give her extra baked goods away or feed them to her pigs and chickens.
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.
IJ clients Keith Westphal and Joyce Osborn Wilson are banned from offering Alabamians a comfortable and clean place to use the prepackaged, teeth-whitening products they sell to customers.
John Rosemond’s lawsuit defends freedom of speech and freedom of the press from government officials who believe that it can be a crime in America to express an opinion in a newspaper.
Janice received a $215 fine for “failure to obey traffic signs or control” in Doraville, Georgia. If she can, Janice now goes out of her way to avoid Doraville.
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.
Esteban Narez, 26, grew up in Watsonville, California with his mother and two sisters. Esteban withdrew from high school his senior year due to a major injury. He hasn’t been able to get a GED because the medical bills and his family’s finances have forced him to work full-time ever since. Esteban wants to train as a farrier, but California won’t let him.
At 16, Ashley began braiding hair for money and now manages the Afro Touch salon in Louisiana. Although there is no shortage of capable braiders, they are all unlicensed, and the Board’s licensing requirements prevent Ashley from hiring unlicensed braiders.
Brent worked in banking for 42 years before he co-founded Vizaline to provide small community banks with a cost effective way to assess small property assets within their portfolios. But the Mississippi Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyors claimed the company was practicing unlicensed surveying.
Della Sims is a retired postal worker who has rented from Josefina Lozano in Zion, Illinois since 1998. She’s fighting back against the city’s warrantless rental inspections.
Mildred Bryant is 84 years old and living out her golden years in the home she’s owned for 46 years in Pagedale, Missouri. But she faces a real threat of tickets, fines, and imprisonment from the town.
Scott Fisher runs a video game store in Orange Park, Florida, just outside Jacksonville. To boost foot traffic and visibility for his business, he set up a giant inflatable Mario, only to run afoul of the town’s sign code. Scott has joined with the Institute for Justice to defend his First Amendment rights.
Bentley, Williams, and Briere live with their three roommates in Northwest Seattle and objected to the city’s warrantless rental inspection.
For more than 30 years, Hinga Mbogo has been fixing the cars of Dallas residents at his shop on Ross Avenue. But the city is trying to shut him down by using an oppressive and little-known zoning process called “amortization.”
Randy Sowers has run a dairy farm in Frederick County, Md. since 1981. But in 2012, the IRS seized the farm’s bank account because the Sowers deposited the cash in amounts under $10,000.
John Hart is a New York Times bestselling author who has won several awards for his character-driven, literary thrillers. A former defense attorney and stockbroker, John lives on a farm in Virginia where he writes full-time. But Charlottesville and Albemarle County require a business license to write novels, and they have assessed thousands of dollars in back taxes against Corban and other hardworking freelance writers.
Bob Wilson is blocked by the city of Norfolk, Va., from displaying a banner protesting eminent domain abuse outside his business, Central Radio Company.
Joyce is banned from offering Alabamians a comfortable and clean place to use the prepackaged, teeth-whitening products she sells to customers.
IJ clients Ted and Lauren Dzierzbicki wonder if the government can arbitrarily restrict the property rights of some individuals but not others.
Harley Bruce owns Poor Piggy’s BBQ & Catering, which was the first food truck in Wilmington and serves up award-winning North Carolina barbecue.
August “Augie” Kersten is a co-owner of the Lonesome Dove saloon in Mandan, North Dakota. He started the Lonesome Dove 28 years ago with Brian Berube. The two commissioned a mural for the front of their saloon, which triggered a notice of violation from Mandan, which chided Augie and Brian for displaying art on their own property without first getting the city’s OK.
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.
St. Louis tried to take Jim Roos’ property through eminent domain. Jim protested by painting a giant sign on one of his buildings. The city then tried to censor him.
Mats Järlström is a Swedish-born electronics engineer and has the equivalent of a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. After his wife received a ticket based on a red-light camera in Beaverton, Oregon, Mats began criticizing the math behind red-light cameras. But Oregon’s engineer-licensing board considered Mats’ traffic-light critiques to be the unlicensed practice of engineering and fined him $500.
Brian Peffer owns and operates “Creative Chef on Wheels.” Brian simply wants to provide his customers with the best food and service he can, but Fort Pierce, Florida’s 500-foot ban stops him from competing.
Dr. Gajendra Singh opened Forsyth Imaging Center in 2017 to provide X-rays, ultrasounds, MRI scans, and other services at affordable prices. But Dr. Singh is stymied by North Carolina’s “certificate of need” laws.
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.
Michael loves Charleston and plans to tell its story to visitors, but he will do so because he has a right to say what he wants—not because the city has given him its permission.
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.