Partner Janet Johnson was quoted on the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent agreement to hear a case on a decades-old procedural takings issue. The matter surrounds a property owner’s struggle to file a claim in state or federal court alleging that the government has unconstitutionally taken value from her land. Due to a 1985 decision in Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank, courts appear to be unsure if these matters should be heard in either state or federal courts.
“The state court said, 'We don't need to decide this. You don't have any claim here.' The federal court said, 'You don't have any claim here,' The argument her lawyers are making is, 'Look, she's being whipsawed between two courts. She hasn't had her day in court,” Janet said.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case and, for the first time, will look at the Williamson decision as it relates to takings procedural issues.
"This decision will decide the split so to speak between the circuit [courts] that are out there," Janet said. "Some of the circuits have said we're going to interpret this Williamson case narrowly, and don't have to go through proceedings."
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