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Fifth Amendment Takings

When dealing with a Fifth Amendment takings matter, it is important to get trusted advice on the merits of the case. The Los Angeles and Sacramento property rights lawyers give honest, straightforward advice to all clients. After analyzing each client’s legal matter, the attorneys will be pleased to assess your rights and remedies and help you form a plan of action to obtain positive results.

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More from the Los Angeles and Sacrmento property rights lawyers and civil rights attorneys at Kassouni Law…

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides in part: “nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.” There are three types of takings. Physical takings occur when the government wants to buy your land for a public use, such as a park or a school. A physical taking can also occur when the government damages your property. One of the most controversial and legally unsupportable United States Supreme Court opinions on the subject of eminent domain was Kelo v. City of New London. In that case, the Court held that the government can wield its power of eminent domain to force private property owners to relinquish their land not to the government, but rather another private developer. The Court concluded that speculative future tax revenues were a sufficient public “purpose.” Years later, the private developer scrapped its plans, yet the private property owners have no power to reclaim the land they were forced to sell. A book has been written on this case, entitled Little Pink House.

A taking can also occur when the government restricts the economic use of property, such as a growth control measure, or a rezoning. One such case was recently tried by the takings lawyers at Kassouni Law who argued an inverse condemnation claim in court on behalf of client Lockaway Storage against the County of Alameda, the building department of Alameda County, and the planning department of Alameda County. Conversely, at the same trial, the County of Alameda argued that because growth control Measure D was enacted while Lockaway storage was in the process of developing their land, they no longer had the right to finish the development of their facility. The Trial Court and Appellate Court found Alameda County responsible for a taking of property without just compensation based on the theory of inverse condemnation. Further, the Court concluded that the County had acted arbitrarily by denying Lockaway Storage building permits for the construction of a storage facility. In a case that set California land use law precedent, the Court awarded Lockaway Storage over $2 million in compensatory damages, interest, and attorney fees.

Finally, a taking can occur when the government imposes an exaction, or condition, in exchange for a permit which is excessive and has no real relation to the impact created by the proposed development.  Our attorneys have found that this commonly occurs, but is not limited to, land development along the coast which falls under the jurisdiction of the California Coastal Commission.

Kassouni Law takings attorneys are experienced in this realm of land use and takings law.  The takings lawyers at Kassouni Law offer legal advice to clients throughout the state of California with offices located in Sacramento and satellite offices in Los Angeles. Contact the attorneys to strategically posture your takings case by calling (877) 770-7379.