March 2, 2017

Talking property rights to SIRS

By Damien M. Schiff Senior Attorney

Yesterday I had the honor of addressing the distinguished members of Sons in Retirement, chapter 51, in Los Altos, California. My remarks focused on several leading PLF property rights cases, including Murr v. Wisconsin. My thanks again to the club for its kind invitation and very warm hospitality.

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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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