Dan King
Dan King · May 15, 2024

ARLINGTON, Va.—A new digital advertising campaign, launched by the Institute for Justice (IJ), calls on city officials in Pasadena to abide by a settlement agreement they reached two years ago to allow auto mechanic Oz Sepulveda to open his one-man shop on Shaver Street. Rather than let the small business owner open, Pasadena city officials are stifling Oz and keeping his shop closed.  

“All I want is for the city to finally let me open my shop,” said Oz. “It’s really hurt to pay the rent on my current shop and the mortgage on my new shop, which I can’t use, even though the city agreed to let me open.” 


Oz originally sued the city in December 2021, after being told he could not open his auto mechanic shop until he had 28 parking spots, which he could not afford, did not need, and would not fit on the property. In May 2022, the city agreed to let Oz open, after he showed that Pasadena was violating the Texas Constitution and won an injunction in court.  

But the city went back on its word almost immediately. Since that time, the city has used delay tactics to prevent Oz from opening, which led him to file a second lawsuit in September 2023, arguing the city breached the contract and violated his constitutional rights. Earlier this month, a judge rejected the city’s claim that it was immune from Oz’s lawsuit, calling the city’s actions “bad public policy.”  

“For the past two years, the city has wasted time and taxpayer money fighting a hardworking entrepreneur for no good reason,” said IJ Attorney Diana Simpson, who represents Oz and is featured in the ads. “Pasadena taxpayers deserve to see what their officials are doing—and spending taxpayer money on—rather than letting an entrepreneur realize his American Dream.”