Press Releases

  • October 29, 2021    |   Private Property

    New Orleans Man Will Get His Life Savings Back; Federal Government Agrees to Dismiss Case, Clearing His Name

    DEA seized cash from Lower Ninth Ward resident at Columbus, Ohio, airport without any evidence of a crime

    NEW ORLEANS—Kermit Warren, a New Orleans grandfather and head deacon of his Lower Ninth Ward church, will get his life savings back after the federal government agreed to dismiss its civil forfeiture case with prejudice, effectively clearing Kermit’s name. In November 2020, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents seized Kermit’s money at the Columbus, Ohio, airport.…

  • October 27, 2021    |   Private Property

    Georgia Nonprofit Challenges Calhoun’s Ban on Building Small Homes

    People live in smaller homes for a variety of reasons, but cities throughout Georgia make these choices illegal

    CALHOUN, Ga.—Your home is your castle. But in cities and towns throughout Georgia, the kind of home you are allowed to buy is limited not just by the price tag but by something unexpected: the government. Tiny House Hand Up (THHU), a Calhoun nonprofit that wants to use donated land to fill a niche for…

  • October 25, 2021

    Annual South Side Pitch Competition Crowns Mental Wellness Business Winner for 2021

    Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness bested more than 100 competitors to win top prize

    CHICAGO—Late last week, the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship (IJ Clinic) live-streamed its Eighth Annual South Side Pitch and declared the winners with the help of an online audience from around Chicagoland and beyond. Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness took first place among the six finalists from the more than 100 businesses who applied.…

  • October 20, 2021    |   Private Property

    First-of-Its-Kind Study Takes Detailed Look at Victims of Policing for Profit

    People who faced civil forfeiture call the process frustrating, corrupt, unfair

    PHILADELPHIA—The federal government and most states use civil forfeiture to take cash, cars and more without charging owners with a crime. The proceeds often flow into accounts controlled by law enforcement, sometimes including the same police and prosecutors who seized and forfeited the property. Yet few Americans realize this legal process exists until they find…

  • October 15, 2021    |   Private Property

    Orange City Landlords and Tenants Score Major Win in Challenge to Unconstitutional Home Inspections

    Orange City threatens Iowans with non-consensual, pointless searches of unwilling tenants

    ORANGE CITY, Iowa—Yesterday afternoon, the Iowa District Court for Sioux County issued an opinion denying an attempt by Orange City, Iowa, to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its rental inspection ordinance. This ordinance allows the government to enter the most intimate confines of tenants’ homes—including bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and closets—in search of housing code violations, even…

  • October 8, 2021    |   Educational Choice

    Kentucky Parents Vow to Appeal Ruling Against School Choice Program 

    A legal attack seeks to end Kentucky’s bold school choice program 

    Frankfort, Ky.—Today, the Franklin County Circuit Court ruled that Kentucky’s bold Education Opportunity Account Program, enacted in 2021 to give thousands of low- and middle-income families in Kentucky greater educational choice, is unconstitutional under Sections 59 and 184 of the Kentucky Constitution. Akia McNeary and Nancy Deaton, two parents who planned to use the program,…

  • October 7, 2021    |   Educational Choice

    Nevada Supreme Court Rules Against Families Challenging Reduction in Tax Credits for Scholarships

    Nevada Supreme Court holds the Legislature did not violate the state constitution when it reduced tax credits that supported scholarship program

    LAS VEGAS—Today, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled against families in their constitutional challenge to a law that reduced the amount of tax credits available for donors to the Nevada Educational Choice Scholarship Program. Three mothers of scholarship students, a scholarship granting foundation and two donors to scholarship programs were represented by the Institute for Justice…

  • October 6, 2021    |   Other

    Yesterday, the Institute for Justice (IJ) took home the “Best in Show” award in the Non-Profit category at the w3 Awards, one of the premier honors for “digital excellence.” IJ’s award-winning video, titled “IJ Helps Ordinary People Fight Back,” was one of more than 1,000 entries, and was one of only 34 to receive best…

  • October 5, 2021    |   Private Property

    Arizona Forfeiture Victims Score Win At Federal Appeals Court

    Decision means Terry and Ria Platt will have the chance to have their constitutional rights vindicated

    PHOENIX–Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit ruled that Terry and Ria Platt can continue to litigate the unconstitutional forfeiture of their car. The federal appellate court ruling reinstates the Platts’ long-running constitutional challenge against forfeiture abuse in Arizona, in which they are represented by the Institute for Justice (IJ). The Platts, an elderly couple from eastern Washington,…

  • October 4, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Victory for New Jersey Home Bakers

    New Jersey becomes the final state to allow the sale of home-baked goods

    Trenton, N.J.—Today, New Jersey legalized the sale of home-baked goods like cookies, cakes and muffins with new rules published by the Office of Administrative Law. This move by New Jersey’s Department of Health means that home bakers in every state and D.C. can now sell homemade foods to their neighbors. The victory for New Jersey…

  • September 29, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    Aspiring Addiction Counselor Sues to End Virginia’s Past-Conviction Discrimination

    A former drug user wants to work to help others recover, but Virginia’s “permanent punishment” law makes that impossible. Now he’s suing for his right to work.

    By all accounts, Rudy Carey had a hard childhood. When he was 18, his father—who raised him alone—was in a car accident. Rudy was forced to make the gut-wrenching decision to take him off life support. Like so many others faced with trauma, Carey turned to drugs and alcohol, which, in turn, led to a…

  • September 24, 2021    |   Private Property

    Landlords and Tenants Challenging Illinois City’s Unconstitutional Home Inspections Score Major Win

    Zion's ordinance threatens ruinous fines unless landlords force warrantless searches on unwilling tenants

    Zion, Ill.—Yesterday evening, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued an opinion denying a motion from Zion, Illinois, to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its rental inspection ordinance. The inspection program allows the city to enter residents’ homes without cause or their consent—subjecting landlords to $750 daily fines for every day…

  • September 23, 2021

    Six South Side Businesses Selected for Finals in Pitch Showcase

    Eighth annual South Side Pitch goes online and highlights how existing businesses are confronting the challenges of 2021

    Six South Side businesses will compete October 21 in the finals of the eighth annual South Side Pitch. As it did last year, the competition is highlighting existing businesses that are taking on the challenges of 2021 in new and unique ways. This year contestants will give their pitches to the judges at the University…

  • September 22, 2021    |   Private Property

    Wilmington Residents File Lawsuit Challenging City’s Unconstitutional Impound Racket

    Wilmington pays private tow companies by letting them keep and scrap cars

    Wilmington, Del.—Wilmington contracts out its municipal impound system to private towing companies and funds the whole system by letting these companies wrongfully take and keep people’s cars. The city pays these companies nothing for their services, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The price of Wilmington’s “cost-free” impound services falls squarely on…

  • September 14, 2021    |   Immunity and Accountability

    ARLINGTON, Va.—What does it take to hold federal police accountable for using excessive force? That question is once again being raised with cases being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. And it’s coming to the Justices in the form of a petition from Kevin Byrd, a Texas mechanic who was almost shot to death by…

  • September 14, 2021    |   Educational Choice

    ARLINGTON, Va.—More than 30 amicus (or “friend-of-the-court”) briefs have been filed in Carson v. Makin, calling for greater educational choice for parents and their children. Carson, which is being litigated by the Institute for Justice (IJ), is expected to set a landmark precedent when it comes to education reform. In the case, the U.S. Supreme Court will…

  • September 13, 2021    |   Economic Liberty First Amendment

    Private Investigator Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Important First Amendment Case

    Maine’s Department of Public Safety denied Joshua Gray an occupational license because he criticized police conduct in a fatal shooting

    Arlington, Va.—Earlier this month, Joshua Gray, a private investigator from Massachusetts, filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the Court to reverse a decision by the Maine Department of Public Safety denying him a license as a professional investigator in Maine. The Department based its denial on the fact that it…

  • September 10, 2021    |   Private Property

    New Orleans-Area Residents Vow To Appeal Dismissal Of Lawsuit Challenging Due Process Violations in Criminal Proceedings

    The class action suit targets the personal, financial and political relationship between a judge and a private ankle-monitoring company

    NEW ORLEANS—Today, a federal district court granted an ankle monitoring company’s motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit challenging the company’s violation of New Orleans criminal defendants’ right to neutral adjudication in conjunction with former Judge Paul A. Bonin. The plaintiffs, Marshall Sookram and Hakeem Meade, will appeal the decision. Represented by the Institute for…

  • September 8, 2021    |   Private Property

    Family Farm Facing Ruinous Fines for Paperwork Mistake Sues Agency that Acts as Prosecutor, Judge and Jury

    Constitutional challenge to U.S. Department of Labor asks government to give Americans their day in court, not their day in front of a bureaucrat

    CAMDEN, N.J.—A new lawsuit launched by a fourth-generation family farm asks whether a single government agency can act as prosecutor, judge and jury when handing out potentially ruinous fines. Sun Valley Orchards, a produce farm in Swedesboro, N.J., is facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), mostly…

  • September 1, 2021    |   Economic Liberty

    CLEARWATER, Fla.—Today, the owners of a Florida food truck vowed to continue their legal battle against Tarpon Springs after a Florida court decided that they could not sue the city over an ordinance that requires independently operated food trucks to use someone else’s name in order to operate downtown. Elijah and Ashley Durham opened SOL…

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