Federal Takings

Arent Fox's Eminent Domain & Property Rights Practice

Federal Takings
Current Cases, Indiana
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Alexander v. United States Case Update

Arent Fox, LLP recently filed a rails-to-trails case on behalf of landowners in Clark, Floyd, Lawrence, Orange, and Washington Counties along the rail line owned by the CSX Railroad. The case involves the federal government taking land to convert the rail line into a public recreational trail. This abandoned railroad segment is roughly 62.3 miles long.

On February 28, the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) issued its order taking landowners’ property. This order is called the Notice of Interim Trail Use (NITU). Concurrently, CSX Railroad and the Indiana Trails Fund (and City of New Albany) can now begin their negotiations for trail use. We will proceed with filing claims against the federal government for compensation on behalf of landowners whose property is adjacent to the right-of-way.

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Current Cases, Florida
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Case Update: Expansion of The Legacy Trail in Sarasota County, FL

Arent Fox LLP has filed a claim on behalf of a group of Florida landowners against the federal government. The government took these owners’ property at the beginning of December when it issued an order allowing for the conversion of an abandoned rail corridor on their property to a public trail. This conversion includes a 1.7 mile section from the current Legacy Trail to north of Ashton Road. We will be holding a meeting with affected landowners on Monday, March 19 at The Meeting Place in Sarasota, FL. Any landowners are encouraged to attend this meeting or contact Lindsay Brinton.

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US Courts of Appeal, Press Release, Michigan
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Brott v. United States, No. 17-712 (U.S. Supreme Court), 858 F.3d 425 (6th Cir. 2017)

UPDATE: The Supreme Court has ordered (requested) the Solicitor General to file a response to our petition.

Question presented: May the federal government take an owner’s property in violation of the Fifth Amendment and deny the owner the ability to vindicate his right to be justly compensated in an Article III Court with right to jury trial as provided in the Seventh Amendment?

Eighteen amici curiae parties have filed five amicus briefs in support of the landowner-plaintiffs’ petition for certiorari in Brott v. United States. The Tucker Act requires all Fifth Amendment taking claims against the federal government that exceed $10,000 to be brought in the US Court of Federal Claims (CFC). The CFC is an Article I tribunal, not an Article III court, and the judges serving on the CFC do not enjoy the protections afforded Article III judges. Decisions of the CFC are subject to appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

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Current Cases, Indiana
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Current Cases: Hamilton, Marion & Tipton Counties, Indiana

Arent Fox, LLP will be filing a rails-to-trails case on behalf of landowners in Hamilton, Tipton, and Marion Counties along the rail line owned by the City of Fishers, the City of Noblesville, and Hamilton County. Attorney Lindsay Brinton will be holding additional town hall meetings in mid-November to discuss the case. The case involves the federal government taking land to convert the rail line into a public recreational trail. This abandoned railroad segment is roughly 37.56 miles long. Ms. Brinton and her colleagues represent over 1,000 landowners in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon, South Carolina, New York, Missouri, and Tennessee who are pursuing Fifth Amendment takings claims against the federal government. Learn more about their work at www.federaltakings.com.

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Current Cases, Florida
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Case Update: Takings Compensation for Landowners in Miami-Dade, Florida (Castillo v. United States)

Arent Fox LLP has filed a claim on behalf of a group of Florida landowners against the federal government.  For many properties, the government has agreed the railroad only acquired an easement limited to railroad purposes.  We are in the process of moving for summary judgment to establish the government’s liability for taking these owners’ property.  The briefing will be completed by year’s end and we hope to move forward with the appraisal phase early next year.  Additional landowners along the Ludlam Trail extension are still eligible to make a claim for compensation for the government’s taking of their property.  If you would like to learn more about your claim, please contact Lindsay Brinton.

For additional information on this case, please see the following links:

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North Carolina
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Case Update: Brooks v. United States, CFC No. 15-843 L

More than 125 North Carolina landowners have filed their inverse condemnation claims against the federal government. These landowners are seeking compensation for the taking of their property for the City of Shelby rail-trail conversion. For many properties, the government has agreed the railroad only acquired an easement limited to railroad purposes. This will help us resolve the case in an expedited manner. We will be holding meetings with affected landowners on Tuesday, September 26 at the LeGrand Center in Shelby, NC. Any landowners who are not already represented by counsel are encouraged to attend these meetings or contact Arent Fox.

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Current Cases, Michigan
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Michigan Landowners Petition Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for Rehearing on Critical Constitutional Question

In Brott v. United States, a group of Michigan landowners are courageously demanding their right to a jury trial and right to be heard in a judicial court (instead of a legislative court without a jury) in their lawsuit seeking compensation for the federal government’s taking of their land.

The federal government continues to argue that these families and small businesses are not entitled to a jury trial and that they must bring their takings claims in a legislative court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, under a federal law called the Tucker Act.  A three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the government in a decision available here.  In order to protect their claims, the landowners also filed them in a different lawsuit in the Court of Federal Claims.

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Missouri
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US Supreme Court Rules for Missouri Church in Civil Liberties Case

On June 26, the US Supreme Court sided with a Missouri church in a closely watched First Amendment case, ruling that a church cannot be excluded as the recipient of a government program simply because it is a religious organization. The decision can be found here.

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US Supreme Court
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Bay Point Properties v. Mississippi Transportation Commission
Fifth Amendment takings guru Robert Thomas has filed a case on behalf of a Mississippi property owner whose land was taken without compensation for a park built by the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The case, Bay Point Properties v. Mississippi Transportation Commission, is now pending in the US Supreme Court, which will consider next month whether or not to hear this case. We hope it does.
 
Arent Fox’s Federal Takings law group filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief in the Supreme Court urging the Court to overturn the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s taking of private property without “just compensation” in violation of the Fifth Amendment. Federal Takings’ amicus brief is available here.
 
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Florida
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Landowners in Miami-Dade, Florida file Claim for Compensation Against the Federal Government (Castillo v. United States)

Arent Fox LLP has filed a claim on behalf of a group of Florida landowners against the federal government. The government took these owners’ property last November when it issued an order allowing for the conversion of an abandoned rail corridor on their property to a public park. This conversion includes a 1.21 mile section of the abandoned Florida East Coast Railroad from NW 7th Street to SW 12th Street. If you would like to learn more about your claim, please contact Lindsay Brinton.

Propietarios en Miami-Dade, Florida presentan una demanda por compensación contra el gobierno federal (Castillo v. Estados Unidos)

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