SCOTUS Sides With Landowners in Takings Clause Case

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling Tuesday in favor of property rights under the Constitution’s takings clause, which states that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.

The case, DeVillier v. Texas, was brought by a Texas man whose land repeatedly flooded after the state changed a nearby highway. He sued the state, along with 120 others, and all the cases were combined into one in federal court, where Texas officials sought to have it dismissed.

Texas REALTORS® joined the National Association of REALTORS® and American Property Owners Alliance in filing an amicus brief in support of the landowners last year, saying takings like these can artificially increase real estate costs, restrict fundamental property rights and hinder potential development opportunities.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court said Texas law provides DeVillier with a cause of action for compensation, which he may pursue. This is a technical ruling based on procedure but one that is no less important. The court essentially removed barriers preventing DeVillier from his “just compensation.”

Read the opinion.

Source: Texas REALTORS®