In Tennessee, you can run for governor after residing in the state for seven years, but you can’t renew your liquor license until you’ve lived there for 10 years
Arlington, Va.—Doug and Mary Ketchum moved to Memphis in 2016 with the dream of buying a business that would give them more time with their 32-year-old daughter, Stacie, who has been severely handicapped since an early age, and who doesn’t have many years left to live, according to their doctor. But, thanks to the actions…
Institute for Justice and Parents will appeal to U.S. Supreme Court
Helena, Mont.—Today, by a 5 to 2 vote, the Montana State Supreme Court reversed a lower court to declare that the state’s scholarship tax credit program is unconstitutional. This marks the first time that a state supreme court has struck down such a program. The program provides scholarships to needy families to attend the private…
Pennsylvania Cosmetology Board uses irrelevant and old criminal convictions to deny licenses after individuals invest time and money in education
PHILADELPHIA—Two Pennsylvania women denied licenses by the Pennsylvania Cosmetology Board are suing in the Commonwealth Court to end an unconstitutional requirement that stands in the way of careers in cosmetology. Courtney Haveman and Amanda Spillane, who live near Philadelphia, struggled with substance abuse, but have been sober and stayed out of trouble for years. The…
Second Circuit Allows Constitutional Claims To Be Tested
Today, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York improperly dismissed a class-action lawsuit challenging New York City’s extraction of unconstitutional settlement agreements. Through its no-fault eviction program, the NYPD threatened to evict businesses and residents when somebody—even a total stranger—committed a crime at…
Ruling solidifies victory for tour guides denied licenses
Charleston, S.C.—Judge David Norton of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina today affirmed his August 2018 decision protecting the First Amendment rights of Charleston tour guides. The city’s tour guide licensing law was challenged by three would-be tour guides—Kimberly Billups, Michael Warfield and Michael Nolan—who joined with the Institute for Justice…
Food Truck Owners Challenge One of the Most Anti-Competitive Vending Restrictions in the Country
As the owner of the Taco Trap food truck, Benny Diaz has reaped the rewards of hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit. He started out making his unique taco creations from his grandmother’s recipes at a restaurant in Port St. Lucie, Florida. From there, patrons encouraged him to start a business of his own. Benny’s…
Seattle Inspection Law Treats Tenants as Second-Class Citizens and Tramples Constitutional Right to Privacy
SEATTLE, Wa.—Today, a group of Seattle tenants and landlords partnered with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to file a class action lawsuit challenging the city’s use of invasive, warrantless searches to inspect rental units. The lawsuit, which was filed in King County Superior Court, argues that the city’s program is a clear violation of the…
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.
Hilda Brucker was sitting at home one day working her job as a freelance writer. The phone rang, she answered, and was told by a hostile voice that if she didn’t come down to the courthouse at once she would be given a failure to appear violation. She hastily complied. When she got there, she found out that the city had issued a citation, although it had never told her about it. She later learned the citation stated she was charged with (1) “Rotted wood on house and chipping paint on fascia boards”; (2) “High weeds in backyard and ivy on tree and vines on house”; and (3) “Driveway in a state of disrepair.” Not knowing what to do, Hilda pled guilty to the driveway charge, while the other two were dismissed. She paid a fine of $100 and was sentenced to six months probation, where she had to report to a probation officer, avoid alcoholic intoxication, and cooperate “with code enforcement upon request.” She later hired an attorney who filed a motion to vacate her sentence, but the motion was continued several times, eventually being granted only after her six-month probation would have already ended. She also obtained a home equity line of credit in case she needed to pay for any of the fixes that the city nebulously demanded.
After completing his military service as an Army Ranger, Jon McGlothian of Virginia Beach, Va., became a PMP-certified project manager. But Jon can’t advertise to the public or take on individual students because his school isn’t licensed by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
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. 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.”
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.
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.
In March 2017, Phil Parhamovich, a musician from Madison, Wisconsin, was pulled over by the Wyoming Highway Patrol and pressured into signing a pre-printed waiver that stated he was “giving” his $91,800 in cash to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation.
Fortunately, after the Institute for Justice took his case, law enforcement returned all of the cash they had wrongfully taken from Phil.
Founded in 2011, ROSE is an Atlanta-based, nonprofit organization that works to increase access to breastfeeding support and improve healthcare equity among African-American communities in Georgia and around the country.
Kim Billups turned her lifelong passion for history into a fun tourism business called Charleston Belle Tours, where Kim could give in-character tours of the major sites in Charleston, SC in full period regalia.
Sally Ladd is a New Jersey-based entrepreneur who provides short-term vacation property management services in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. But after Pennsylvania wanted her to obtain a real-estate broker’s license, which requires her to spend three years working for an established broker, Sally felt forced to shut down her business.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Heather is a single mother of a 14-year-old son. After bringing in baked goods to her son’s school for fundraisers and to his football team, Heather started getting many requests to sell them. But then Heather learned that selling her goods from home was illegal. Heather wants very much to be able to resume selling her delicious goods so she can use the money to support her son.
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.
Lisa Kivirist is a mother, farmer, business owner and avid baker. Lisa typically serves muffins and other baked goods at her B&B for breakfast, but the baked-good ban prohibits her from selling these same exact goods to guests.
Panna Shah came to the United States from India in 2006 in search of a better life. She has been threading for more than 30 years but would be unable to thread full-time because she can’t afford to complete Louisiana’s irrelevant training requirements.
Jeff has spent almost 30 years building a successful small business with his brothers, distributing candy, snacks and other goods to convenience stores throughout Long Island. But the government raided the business’s bank account using civil forfeiture—taking $446,000 and nearly destroying the family business. T
Lata has been threading since she was a teenager in India and saw a need for threading services in the New Orleans metropolitan area. But in June 2016, state regulators fined her business for employing unlicensed threaders, and ordered Lata to fire her unlicensed employees.
John Heiderich and Gwendolyn Lee, have owned and operated rental properties in Seattle for more than forty years. They are unwilling to let the city intrude into their tenant’s home and are committed to helping their tenant protect her constitutional rights.
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.
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.
Summit Christian Academy is a private, nonprofit K-12 school located in Spokane, Washington. The school applied to participate in the state’s Work-Study Program, but was denied, simply because of its religious affiliation.