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Category: Property Rights

Blooming Ridiculous, Phase Three: The Duffners’ Challenge to the Turf Grass Mandate Moves to Federal Court

Blooming Ridiculous, Phase Three: The Duffners’ Challenge to the Turf Grass Mandate Moves to Federal Court

On Monday December 19, 2016, the Freedom Center of Missouri began Round Three of its battle to end the unconstitutional Turf Grass Mandate in the City of St. Peters, re-filing the case in federal court. The move was necessitated because, even after the Missouri Court of Appeals admonished St. Charles County Circuit Judge Daniel Pelikan for improperly dismissing Carl and Janice Duffner’s constitutional challenge, Judge Pelikan refused to let the Duffners present their claims under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments…

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Appellate Brief Filed To End Suspicionless Vehicle Stops

Appellate Brief Filed To End Suspicionless Vehicle Stops

Today the Freedom Center filed a brief at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in our Suspicionless Stops case. The judgment we are appealing ruled that because professional commercial truckers are subject to extensive regulation, the Fourth Amendment allows law enforcement officers to randomly pull over and inspect almost any vehicle driving on Missouri’s highways and interstates – even if the drivers and vehicles are not involved in the professional commercial trucking industry, and even if the officer has no…

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Federal Judge: Fourth Amendment Does Not Protect Drivers From Suspicionless Stops

Federal Judge: Fourth Amendment Does Not Protect Drivers From Suspicionless Stops

On July 28, 2016, Judge Stephen Limbaugh ruled that the Fourth Amendment does not prevent Missouri Highway Patrol officers from pulling over any vehicle, at any time, and at any place in the state, even if the officer has no reason to believe the driver or vehicle are in violation of any laws. “The U.S. Supreme Court has never authorized law enforcement officials to conduct roving, suspicionless stops of drivers,” explained Dave Roland, director of litigation for the Freedom Center…

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VICTORY: Missouri Court of Appeals Rules Challenge to Turf Grass Mandate May Continue

VICTORY: Missouri Court of Appeals Rules Challenge to Turf Grass Mandate May Continue

On January 12, 2016, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, issued an opinion ruling that the St. Charles County Circuit Court should not have dismissed Carl and Janice Duffner’s challenge to the validity of a municipal ordinance that requires homeowners to devote half of their property to growing plants designated by the city. The City of St. Peters threatens homeowners with both extraordinary financial penalties and jail time unless they obey the City’s demand to grow “turf grass” on at…

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U.S. Supreme Court Hands Down Two Pro-Property Rights Decisions

U.S. Supreme Court Hands Down Two Pro-Property Rights Decisions

Today the U.S. Supreme Court handed down two cases that should help citizens protect themselves against government intrusion into their property rights. Los Angeles v. Patel asked whether the Fourth Amendment allows governments to pass a law that authorizes law enforcement to conduct searches of private property (specifically, hotel registers that include guest information) without either a warrant or any suspicion of wrongdoing.  In a 5-4 decision, the majority held that such a law is unconstitutional on its face if it…

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Missouri Rancher Files Lawsuit to Put the Brakes on Suspicionless Vehicle Stops

Missouri Rancher Files Lawsuit to Put the Brakes on Suspicionless Vehicle Stops

For Immediate Release:                                                          Contact:  Dave Roland ​June 4​, 201​5 ​Missouri Rancher Files Lawsuit to Hit the Brakes on Suspicionless Vehicle Stops  Mexico, Missouri—Ron Calzone, a rancher and small businessman who lives in the country near Rolla, Missouri, filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking a federal court to strike down a Missouri law that allows highway…

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Freedom Center Appeals Dismissal of Turf Grass Mandate Lawsuit

Freedom Center Appeals Dismissal of Turf Grass Mandate Lawsuit

On April 22, 2015, Judge Pelikan of the St. Charles County Circuit Court ignored decades’ worth of precedent to dismiss Carl and Janice Duffner’s challenge to a city ordinance that compels homeowners to devote at least half of their property to the cultivation of “turf grass.”  On April 23, 2015, the Duffners filed their appeal to the Eastern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals. Judge Pelikan’s ruling defies easy explanation.  Missouri courts have ruled again and again that citizens…

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Blooming Ridiculous: Freedom Center Launches New Case to Defend Couple’s Flower Garden

Blooming Ridiculous: Freedom Center Launches New Case to Defend Couple’s Flower Garden

Can the government force you to dedicate half of your yard to growing and maintaining plants you do not want? That is the question posed by a lawsuit filed today in state court by a St. Peters couple, Carl and Janice Duffner, who hope to defeat their city’s unconstitutional turf grass mandate.  A city ordinance requires owners of residential property in St. Peters to devote at least half of their yard to growing and maintaining “turf grass.” According to city…

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VICTORY: Freedom Center Uproots Petty Tyranny in Ferguson

VICTORY: Freedom Center Uproots Petty Tyranny in Ferguson

Last night the Freedom Center of Missouri struck a blow for property rights, persuading the Board of Adjustment for the city of Ferguson, Missouri, to overturn the city’s determination that residents must get the City’s permission before cultivating gardens in their yards. The Freedom Center was representing Karl Tricamo, a resident who, inspired by the birth of his infant son, decided to ensure his family’s access to cheap, nutritious, organic produce by planting a garden in his yard. Prior to…

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City Officials in Ferguson Attempt to Bulldoze Citizens’ Rights, Gardens

City Officials in Ferguson Attempt to Bulldoze Citizens’ Rights, Gardens

Planting gardens is a practice as old as human civilization. During World War I and World War II it was even considered one’s patriotic duty to plant a “victory garden” in order to reduce food costs. In light of this history, Karl Tricamo never imagined that it would be especially controversial when he decided to plant a garden in his yard in order to secure cheap, nutritious, organic produce for his family.  But just to be sure he looked up all…

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