Brief Fact Summary. A man bought land near a beach with the intent of constructing residences on the property. A statute was enacted which prevented him from doing so.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. When a landowner has been deprived by the state of all economically viable use of his property, this constitutes a taking which requires just compensation.
Issue. If a person had been deprived of all economical use of his property by an act of the state, has a taking occurred?
While property may be regulated to a certain extent, if regulation goes too far, it will be a taking. A regulation can be a taking when it denies all economically beneficial or productive use of land. The Fifth Amendment is violated when land-use regulation does not substantially advance legitimate state interests or denies an owner of all economically viable uses of his land.
When the owner of real property has been called upon to leave his property economically idle in the name of the public good, he has suffered a taking.
When the state seeks to sustain a regulation that deprives land of all economically beneficial use, we think it may resist compensation only if the logically antecedent inquiry into the nature of the owner’s estate shows that the proscribed use interests were not part of his title to begin with. The property owner must expect the use of his property to be restricted, from time to time, by various measures newly enacted by the state in legitimate exercise of its police powers.
In the case of land, we think the notion that title is somehow held subject to the implied limitation that the state may subsequently eliminate all economically valuable use is inconsistent with the takings clause.
When a regulation that prohibits all economically productive or beneficial uses of land goes beyond what the relevant background principles would dictate, compensation must be paid to sustain it.
If the state does not want to compensate Petitioner, it must identify background principles of nuisance and property law that prohibit the uses it now intends in the circumstances in which the property is presently found.
No matter how minute the intrusion, and no matter how weighty the public purpose behind it, we have required compensation.View Full Point of Law