August 19, 2015

Wisconsin bureaucrats take liberties with the Takings Clause on Courting Liberty

By Wisconsin bureaucrats take liberties with the Takings Clause on Courting Liberty

PLF Director of Communications Harold Johnson and PLF Northwest Center Principal Attorney John Groen discuss the seeking of Supreme Court review of an important “relevant parcel” property rights case

The case asks whether government can forbid development on a private parcel, without compensation, simply because the owners also own the adjacent, partially developed, lot.

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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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