We meant what we said : Washington Supreme Court tells administrative agency that it lacks authority to make law … again … and again


Author: Brian T. Hodges In a representative democracy, government agencies should be required to operate within strictly defined constitutional and statutory limits. For over a decade, however, the growth management hearings boards (administrative agencies established to review challenges to local comprehensive plan updates) have ignored this funda ...


PLF : a modern day Cassandra


Author: Brian T. Hodges In a decision filed last week, Washington’s Court of Appeals recognized that, like Cassandra, whose warning that the Grecian horse spelled doom for Troy, PLF’s successful litigation efforts to constrain government agencies to their strictly defined constitutional and statutory limits has fallen on deaf ears. PLF ...


Washington's supreme court orders a landowner to sell his property to neighbors


Author: Brian T. Hodges They say that bad facts make bad law.  Well, here’s a doozy.  Noel Proctor and Ford and Christina Huntington purchased neighboring parcels in Southern Washington.  The Huntingtons unwittingly built their home approximately 400 feet onto Proctor’s land.  Proctor discovered the encroachment ...


Who should decide whether a Washington property owner has suffered a taking?

January 11, 2012 | By BRIAN HODGES

In Laurel Park Community, LLC v. City of Tumwater, several manufactured home park owners challenge a city ordinance that essentially prohibits them from using their property for anything but a manufactured home park.  PLF filed an amicus brief supporting the park owners last fall, which we told you about at the time. Now the case … ...


20 years of Pacific Northwest victories : fighting for a coherent regulatory takings test

March 20, 2012 | By BRIAN HODGES

At the time PLF opened its office in the Pacific Northwest, Washington’s courts had adopted an extremely pro-regulation and anti-property rights stance toward regulatory takings law.  This was primarily due to the fact that the courts were operating under the notion that any regulation of private property that is designed to protect people f ...


PLF petitions Washington Supreme Court to uphold property owners' right to sue government for damages

June 25, 2012 | By BRIAN HODGES

About a month ago, we brought you the story of Wendy Birnbaum, a Pierce County, Washington, property owner who got stuck in the permitting process when she applied to open a campground and RV park on her property in the foothills of Mt. Rainier.  This week, we submitted a petition for review to the Supreme … ...


Supreme Court should allow property owners to seek damages for unlawful zoning decisions

May 09, 2013 | By BRIAN HODGES

PLF attorneys filed a petition for review with the Washington Supreme Court this week in a case called Manna Funding, LLC v. Kittitas County.  This is an important property rights case in which PLF seeks reversal of a lower court decision that stripped property owners of vital safeguards in the land use permitting process. The … ...


Washington courts lose a constitutional scholar

March 18, 2014 | By BRIAN HODGES

Yesterday, Justice James M. Johnson of the Washington State Supreme Court announced his early retirement from the bench. This is sad news for Washington. Justice Johnson is a well-respected historian of the state constitution and a strong advocate for the principles embodied therein. During his years on the bench, he showed a marked concern for pr ...


The erosion of traditional fair play

December 01, 2014 | By ETHAN BLEVINS

Charlie Brown always fell for Lucy’s trick of whipping the football away just as he approached for a kick. One Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown hesitated, but Lucy insisted that football was a Thanksgiving tradition. As Charlie Brown lay on his back after being duped again, Lucy smiled down and said, “Isn’t it peculiar, Charlie Bro ...