Takings

Tax foreclosure constitutes a regulatory taking if the city retains proceeds beyond those necessary to pay off the taxes

The Michigan Supreme Court has condemned the practice of keeping all the proceeds of a tax sale of property (done because of failure to pay property taxes) when the city keeps all the proceeds of the sale, even though those are far more than needed to pay the taxes that were due. Rafaeli, LLC v. Oakland County, 2020 Mich. LEXIS 1219 (Mich. 2020)...

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Covid-19 temporary business closures do not effect regulatory takings

Several courts has addressed the question of whether temporary business closure orders to protect the public from Covid-19 constitutes regulatory takings of property. So far, the answer has been “no” as evident in a prominent decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Friends of DeVito v. Wolf, 227 A.3d 872 (Pa. 2020) (relying on Tahoe-Sierra Pres. Council, Inc....

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No regulatory taking despite temporary flooding since the government’s action avoided more harm than it caused

In Alford v. United States, 961 F.3d 1380 (Fed. Cir. 2020), owners complained that the Army Corps of Engineers took their properties by temporarily flooding a nearby lake, knowing it would damage the plaintiffs’ property but doing so to avoid even greater damage to their property from a breach of the levee that was almost certain to occur if the Corps had not acted and which would have resulted in the complete destruction of plaintiffs’ properties. The Federal Circuit... Read more about No regulatory taking despite temporary flooding since the government’s action avoided more harm than it caused

Federal Circuit finds potential taking of property when federal statutes denied developers the right to prepay mortgages to escape limits on rent increases

The Federal Circuit held that two federal statutes may have effected takings of property without just compensation by preventing owners from exercising contractual rights to prepay government-insured mortgages on their housing projects which would have the effect of terminating government rent restrictions designed to keep the housing affordable by low-income families. ...

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Regulatory takings claim against United States for reservoir design that foreseeably flooded upstream properties after Tropical Storm Harvey

The Court of Federal Claims has held the United States responsible for a regulatory taking because it created reservoirs and dams that it knew, or should have known, would overflow onto neighboring property and did nothing to stop that from happening. In re Upstream Addicks and Barker (Texas) Flood-Control Reservoirs, 2019 WL 6873696 (Fed. Cl...

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Supreme Court opens federal courts to a floodgate of takings cases

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court overruled Williamson County Regional Planning Comm'n v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S. 172 (1985) and held that owners aggrieved by state regulations they believe took their property without just compensation can immediately sue for relief in federal courts under 42 U.S.C. §1983 even if state law would have provided just compensation through administrative procedures....

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