Press Release

Video spotlights Murr family’s High Court fight for property rights

Hudson, Wisconsin, July 5, 2016:  A new video from Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) tells the story of the Murr family, who have fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop bureaucrats from robbing them of a family legacy — a vacant parcel along the St. Croix River in Wisconsin that their late parents purchased in the early 1960s as a family investment.

The six children of the late William Murr (a South St. Paul plumber) and his wife Margaret, want to sell the vacant parcel, to fund repair of their family’s cabin, which sits on a separate, adjacent lot that their parents bought several years earlier.

But government officials — imposing regulations that weren’t in place when the property was purchased — have forbidden the Murrs from selling or making any productive use of the vacant parcel.  To avoid liability for an unconstitutional taking, officials are arbitrarily treating both lots as if they were a single unified parcel, even though the two parcels were bought by the Murrs’ parents at different times and are legally distinct.

Represented by PLF attorneys, the Murrs’ case poses a precedent-setting question:  Can government take property without compensation simply because the owner happens to also own adjacent land?  Are people denied constitutional protections for their property rights if government decides they own “too much” property?

“My Dad was a true soldier and servant of our country and believed strongly in our Constitution,” says Donna Murr, one of the six Murr siblings, who is interviewed in the new PLF video.  “Mom and Dad would be very proud of how they raised us kids and how we’re standing up for what we believe in.  If they were alive, they would have fought for the family’s property rights — and everyone’s property rights — just as we are doing.”

About Pacific Legal Foundation
Donor-supported PLF is a watchdog organization that litigates for limited government, property rights, and free enterprise, nationwide. PLF represents the Murrs without charge, as with all its clients.

Case Attorneys

John M. Groen

Executive Vice President and General Counsel

John Groen has extensive experience in public interest litigation before all levels of federal and state courts.  He began his law career with Pacific Legal Foundation in 1987 and launched … ›

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J. David Breemer

Senior Attorney

David (Dave) Breemer developed a passion for liberty while reading classics such as John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government and Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man, as he pursued a … ›

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