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Pacific Legal Foundation 11/5/08

“Government hit us ... with an environmental billy club.”

Adam Brothers, PLF Clients

Those are the words of Peter Adam. He and his family are fifth generation farmers in Santa Barbara County, California. He’s explaining why PLF attorneys are representing them in a federal property rights lawsuit against the county.

Outrageous government misconduct

Peter and his brothers are victims of government misconduct. The county falsely designated property that they own as“wetlands.” For nearly seven years, although they had to keep paying property taxes, they couldn’t farm the land.

Watch PLF case video

A state court jury found that the county had deprived them of their constitutional rights, and had acted with malice, oppression, or fraud.

Now, in federal court, PLF attorneys are seeking monetary damages for the family.

The Constitution demands compensation—and accountability

Alissa J. Strong
PLF Attorney

“It’s a constitutional right to be compensated when government confiscates private property,” says PLF litigator Alissa J. Strong, who is lead attorney on the case.

Accountability is crucial, too.“The government has to know that it will pay a price when it tramples on people’s rights,” says Peter Adam.“Unless the County is made to pay for depriving us of our rights, they have zero incentive to respect the rights of any other farmer or any other landowner.”

Read more about the case, Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. v. Santa Barbara County, on our Website.

Thanks to dedicated, patriotic donors, PLF defends constitutional property rights from coast to coast.


Established in 1973, Pacific Legal Foundation is a pro freedom public interest legal organization - the oldest and, in the words of the Washington Post, “perhaps most influential” organization of our kind. We’re the nation’s leading litigator for property rights, individual liberty, limited government, and a balanced approach to environmental protection. PLF is a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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