Thursday, July 18, 2019

Knick v Township of Scott

This is an interesting Supreme Court case which can be summarized very quickly: the court overrules the well-known Williamson County v Hamilton Bank case, 473 US 172 (1985), insofar as that case required a property owner claiming a violation of his Fifth Amendment rights by way of a taking of his property, does not now need to file in state court prior to pursuing his or her federal rights.

As you will probably recall, the Williamson County case made it harder to get to federal court in two ways, by first requiring that the property owner apply either to the zoning board, the planning commission, or any other administrative body, for any administrative relief which might be available, and by second, requiring that the lawsuit be filed in state court before proceeding to federal court. The latter requirement however was all-encompassing inasmuch as once a state court ruled adversely with regard to the federal claim, it was res judicata in federal court and the property owner was out of luck.

This decision, from my standpoint, simply allows a property owner to proceed in federal court without the necessity of filing in state court first. In Tennessee, many property owners might choose to go to state court anyway. I don't think this case alters the landscape in any significant way, but it does have the virtue of making takings claims somewhat simpler, and more sense to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment