Federal Takings

Arent Fox's Eminent Domain & Property Rights Practice

Federal Takings

Press Release


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?


Arent Fox Defends New York Landowner’s Constitutional Right to Compensation

On January 7, Arent Fox partner Thor Hearne argued Romanoff Equities v. United States before the United States Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit. In this case, Mr. Hearne defended the Romanoff family’s constitutional right to be justly compensated for land the federal government took from them to construct the High Line in New York City. The High Line is now a popular public park used for taco trucks, latin dancing, and other public recreation.  


Eleventh Circuit Releases Transcript of Argument in Landmark Conservation Easement Lawsuit Against IRS

Renown Florida philanthropists Hugh and Eliza Culverhouse donated more than 80 acres of valuable land in the heart of Sarasota’s Palmer Ranch community to Sarasota County for a park. The land was one of the last tracts of undeveloped land in this rapidly developing community and was worth more than $28 million.


Arent Fox Files ‘Rails to Trails’ Takings Claim Involving Missouri’s Rock Island Railroad Corridor

Washington, DC — Arent Fox LLP’s nationally recognized Fifth Amendment Takings & Eminent Domain litigation team has filed a lawsuit in the US Court of Federal Claims on behalf of more than 200 Missouri landowners seeking to be justly compensated for land the federal government took from them. These Missourians owned the land under the now abandoned land along the Rock Island Railroad right-of-way. The federal government took these owners’ land to build a public recreational hiking and biking trail.


The National Law Journal Names Arent Fox Partner Thor Hearne Litigation ‘Trailblazer’ of the Year

Arent Fox LLP partner Thor Hearne has been selected by The National Law Journal as one of the nation’s Top 50 Litigation Trailblazers after his precedent-setting work “fighting for land-holders, small businesses, and farmers against the government’s right to take their property,” and ensuring they are fairly compensated when it does.


Arent Fox Files Fifth Amendment Takings Brief in Florida Supreme Court

Arent Fox LLP’s nationally recognized Fifth Amendment Takings & Eminent Domain litigation team filed a brief before the Florida Supreme Court in a case involving Sarasota, Florida landowners who are seeking to be justly compensated after the federal government took their land to create a public recreational corridor in 2004. In this case, Rogers v.


Arent Fox Wins $7.4 Million Eminent Domain Decision in Florida

Earlier this year, Arent Fox LLP secured a $7.4 million decision on behalf of Florida landowners in a Fifth Amendment “takings” case against the federal government when the US Court of Federal Claims ruled in Rogers v. United States that the property owners “are entitled to just compensation under the Fifth Amendment.”


Arent Fox Files ‘Rails to Trails’ Cert Petition with US Supreme Court for High Line Park Landowners

Washington, DC — On July 29, 2014, Arent Fox LLP filed a certiorari petition before the United States Supreme Court in West Chelsea Building LLC v. US on behalf of owners whose property the United States took for the Manhattan High Line park. The case involves not only vindicating landowners’ Fifth Amendment right to just compensation, but also core issues of federalism. A link to the brief can be found here.


Arent Fox Wins Tax Court Decision in Closely Watched Charitable Contribution Case

On May 6, 2014, the United States Tax Court ruled in favor of the taxpayer and rejected the Internal Revenue Service’s effort to impose penalties on noted philanthropists Hugh and Liza Culverhouse. Complex Litigation partner Thor Hearne represented the Culverhouse family and Palmer Ranch Holdings Ltd.


US Supreme Court Upholds Property Rights in Key Decision

On March 10, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the landowner in a pivotal Fifth Amendment property rights case that will allow thousands of people to maintain ownership of millions of acres of land across the country. By an 8-1 vote in Brandt v. United States, the Court preserved the certainty and predictability in land titles and upheld one of the fundamental policies of the country’s property law system.

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Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.