June 30, 2016

Paradise Lost: A Family’s U.S. Supreme Court Property Fight

By Paradise Lost: A Family’s U.S. Supreme Court Property Fight

Pacific Legal Foundation is representing the Murr family of Wisconsin at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Murrs own a modest cabin on the St. Croix River in Wisconsin that they use as a gathering place and retreat for their family. The Murrs bought the land back in the ’60s as two separate lots, one to build their cabin and the other as an investment.

In the mid 2000’s the property was unconstitutionally considered one parcel by the state of Wisconsin and St. Croix County when the family went to sell the investment property and preventing the Murrs from cashing out on their half a century investment. Pacific Legal Foundation believes this is fundamentally wrong and against the Murrs’, as well as all American property owner’s, rights under the constitution.

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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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