Innocent homeowner’s shocking story – Norco, California

Imagine this: Your local government tries to seize your home because of what it deems unsightly yard clutter. You fight back in court—and win. Then the city demands you cover the legal bill for your own prosecution—$60,798.94—in the case that they lost!


This nightmare scenario is a reality for retired graphic designer Ron Mugar. In 2017, the city of Norco, California, tried to take Ron’s home because he’d left some harmless machinery in his front yard. Ron fought back in court and won. But just when he thought he could relax, he received a bill from the city prosecutor’s office for the $60,798.94 it spent losing Ron’s case.

Across the country, cities like Norco have turned their municipal codes into weapons that destroy lives and constitutional rights. Without the Institute for Justice, innocent property owners like Ron would be left to fend for themselves.

The Institute for Justice is litigating seven lawsuits—including three class actions—to shut down outrageous code enforcement schemes like this one. Your most generous gift today will help us defend the rights of all Americans—including you—to keep their property, speak freely, earn an honest living, and direct the education of their children.

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