September 2, 2016

New article on the upcoming Murr argument

By James S. Burling Vice President for Litigation

While we do not yet have a date set for the oral argument before the Supreme Court in Murr v. State of Wisconsin, we now have, hot of the presses, an article by former PLF attorney (and current judicial clerk) Chris Kieser on what to expect from the Supreme Court when it does hear the case. This is the case, of course, where the Murrs are not allowed to develop or sell a lakefront lot. Normally, the lot would be developable or could be sold if it had been owned by anyone other than the Murrs. Why? Because they own a neighboring lot. In other words, the more one owns the more the government can steal. For more, read Chris’s article in the Federalist Society Review here.

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Murr v. Wisconsin

The Murr family owned two separately deeded lots that were purchased independently by their parents in the 1960s. They built a small cabin on one lot and held the other one as an investment for the future. But when the time came to sell, subsequently enacted regulations forbade the Murrs from making any productive use of the vacant lot – and without any use, it had no value they could sell. PLF represents in the Murrs in a lawsuit arguing that the regulation was an uncompensated taking because it took away all the use and value of the lot. The courts ruled against the family because they owned the adjacent lot with the cabin, and therefore hadn’t lost everything.

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