August 6, 2018

PLF files brief in Florida takings case at Supreme Court

By Mark Miller Senior Attorney

This week Pacific Legal Foundation filed its Reply Brief in support of its Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the Pacetta v. Town of Ponce Inlet case. Pacetta, a case trapped in the court system for years, is an important case for all land owners who find themselves at the mercy of a local government intent on abusing its power to regulate private property.

Urged on by the Town of Ponce Inlet, Florida, Lyder and Simone Johnson bought a number of land parcels in Ponce Inlet (near Daytona Beach) and planned a new development through their business, Pacetta, LLC. Town leaders wanted the development so badly, they began revamping the town’s comprehensive land use plan, which would not have allowed the project at the time. But after an election, the town’s political winds shifted and new leadership prohibited the development. The Johnsons sued and won a $30 million jury award for the town’s unconstitutional property takings, only to have an appeals court strip the verdict—and award. On behalf of the Johnsons, PLF has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review and reverse the appeals court decision. We expect the Court to review the case at this year’s “long conference” in late September. To learn more about the case, read our case page here.

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Pacetta, LLC v. The Town of Ponce Inlet

Urged by the town of Ponce Inlet, Florida, Lyder and Simone Johnson bought a number of land parcels and planned a new development through their business, Pacetta, LLC. Town leaders wanted the development so badly, they began revamping the town’s comprehensive land use plan, which would not have allowed the project at the time. But after an election, the town’s political winds shifted and new leadership prohibited the development. The Johnsons sued and won a $30 million jury award for the town’s unconstitutional property takings, only to have an appeals court strip the verdict—and the Johnsons’s compensation. On behalf of the Johnsons, PLF has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review and reverse the appeals court decision.

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