U.S. Supreme Court Makes Big Property Rights Decision
By: Russell Riggs, NAR Washington Report
Landowners shouldn’t have to jump through state-level hoops before heading to federal court to accuse the government of taking their property, the Supreme Court ruled today in a decision that overturns a decades-old precedent.
In a 5-4 opinion, the justices sided with Pennsylvania resident Rose Mary Knick on a property rights issue likely to have ripple effects on land use and environmental regulations.
The fight centers on an alleged burial ground on Knick’s land in western Pennsylvania’s Scott Township. A local ordinance requires landowners to allow public access to old cemeteries and burial sites. Knick challenged the policy as a violation of her property rights but ran up against what many critics call a Catch-22 in takings litigation.