first-year law review

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Nov. 2 Property: Regulatory Takings (cont.)

So what happens when you buy a property from an owner and the property is subject to a regulation that subjects your property to a taking? My initial thought is that it’s like coming to the nuisance and the purchaser would be out of luck. Palazzolo v. Rhode Island didn’t quite turn out that way though. The Court held that future generations/owners have a right to challenge unreasonable restrictions on the use and value of the land. So why did the holding go this way? The big reason is that if this weren’t the case, it would be like if the State put an expiration date on the Takings Clause. Say the State passes a law that takes away all the value of my property, but I never go to court to be compensated and I sell the land to someone else. If the court held that the purchaser couldn’t challenge the law, the State affected a taking of the property without compensation. Thinking that way, the Court’s holding makes a lot of sense. Fortunately, the justices are a lot smarter than I am.


November 3, 2006 - Posted by | Property

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