Regulatory Taking Cases


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When the government has seized the land of another, this involves regulatory taking, and these cases are complex with various parts that may require explanation. Some issues that popup in the claims of individual land and property owners include property boundaries, the taking of too much land and nonpayment of seizure.

Just compensation is necessary under the doctrine of regulatory taking cases. This is important to uphold the Fifth Amendment of the individual property owner’s rights for fair and just compensation for land or parcels of property seized by the local, state or federal government. When fair payment is not part of the process, litigation may occur where the landowner sues the government agency to ensure that he or she receives the monies owed for the seizure. In some claims, the land is damaged beyond reasonable use. Then, the land requires full payment when the owner cannot use it in the future for any reason.

The Takings Clause

There are numerous state and local laws that prohibit the government agencies from seizing certain parcels of land. These may include when one is up for sale or the land is too small to be of use unless both nearby parts combine and then seizure occurs. Sometimes, the local or state government takes the land that is already up for sale. If the necessary compensation payments do not transfer to the owner, then this could be in violation of the local or state laws. Additionally, some other ordinances and regulations may need consideration during these processes. These are often part of the state or local takings clauses.

Seizures of Land

While local, state and federal governments are given the ability to seize land from a landowner for various government tasks, the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution ensures these individuals entitlements to just and fair compensation. If the land has a purpose where it is then given back to the owner, the compensation may only cover the time and loss of revenue that transpired through the seizure. However, it if is no longer usable and damaged beyond reasonable utilization, the landowner should receive full payment of reasonable amounts in the local market. In times this does not occur, litigation happens.

Some seizures of the land lead to contention and conflict. This often occurs when the land is already in process for sale. If the landowner has a buyer lined up, the government may need to pay a higher price based on these circumstances. Other problems that occur with takings arise when there are certain local and state laws that require tests, mergers and a combination of laws. These generally interfere with the usual takings and may lead to complications for the landowner or with the government agency. It is in times like these that a real estate lawyer is beneficial. He or she may inform the landowner of his or her rights in the area and what may occur based on the local laws.

Tests and Complications

When a single parcel of land is taken by the government, the usual takings cases apply in most circumstances. However, when the land is already set for a purpose or multiple tracts seized become government property, there are tests in some states to determine if other specific laws apply. If a regulation has gone too far in these situations, a court becomes involved. However, simple testing is not necessarily the basis to consider the claim. Takings involve federal laws and regulations, and state laws may not hold the primary elements in these issues. The Fifth Amendment applies, and this interferes with sole discretion of states in takings cases.

Legal Issues in Takings Cases

The aspects of takings cases involve the land the owner possesses. The primary difficulty is that the entire property may have subsections that are different tracts. However, when the government seizes the land, the agency may take most or all of the entirety of the property. For court decisions and tests dealing with tracts and property, there are three factors. The treatment of the land through state and local law are important. The physical characteristics of the land apply. The value of the property is the last factor that could change the results of tests.

Many of these situations warrant the hiring of a lawyer. The legal representative may need to initiate a settlement or protect the rights of the landowner. He or she may need to communicate with government agencies and ensure the compensation is fair and just.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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