Beveridge & Diamond

Takings Law - Land Use


Citizens across the United States have reacted with great interest to the United States Supreme Court's recent holding in the controversial Kelo decision.  That ruling brought into sharp focus the government's broad authority to condemn or "take" private property under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution for a wide variety of perceived public benefits.  Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. has broad experience in legal battles waged on behalf of clients in courts around the country, including the Supreme Court, over alleged "regulatory" takings of land , the calculation of "just compensation" for the condemnation of property and related violations of property rights under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act.  We offer clients facing substantial loss of their property rights creative mechanisms to halt such governmental intrusions or, if necessary, the means to redress such losses in court.

Full Description

The protection of private property rights has become increasingly important in recent years as governmental regulation has increased. In particular, the U.S. Supreme Court in a series of key decisions has reinvigorated the Takings Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits private property from being taken by the government without the payment of just compensation. We offer clients facing substantial loss of their property rights creative mechanisms to halt such governmental intrusions or, if need be, the means to redress such losses in court.

Beveridge & Diamond has been deeply involved before the Supreme Court and lower courts in the filing of briefs and cases on behalf of property owners for regulatory takings of their property. For example, in City of Monterey v. Del Monte Dunes at Monterey, Ltd., 526 U.S. 687 (1999), Beveridge & Diamond filed an amici brief that was used by the Supreme Court to help secure the right to a jury trial for claims of unconstitutional takings brought as a damages action under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871. Indeed, writings of Beveridge & Diamond's lead counsel in such cases have been cited in three Supreme Court takings cases.

Lawyers at Beveridge & Diamond were co-counsel or amicus counsel in most of the landmark takings cases decided by the Supreme Court regarding the use of land, including Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank, 473 U.S. 172 (1985), First English Evangelical Lutheran Church v. Los Angeles County, 482 U.S. 304 (1987) and Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, 483 U.S. 825 (1987), and we have argued a property rights case before the Court under the Due Process Clause. We are well versed in the use of Section 1983 to remedy constitutional violations of property rights.

Besides our experience in the nation's highest court, several Beveridge & Diamond lawyers appeared regularly before the United States Court of Federal Claims while they were trial attorneys at the U.S. Department of Justice. Our lawyers have tried cases around the country in this forum, the primary federal court with jurisdiction over complaints seeking "just compensation" from the United States government, in matters dealing with alleged "regulatory" takings and temporary takings as a result of the government's intrusion on private property. Our experience before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims includes several matters that were resolved through that court's well-developed Alternative Dispute Resolution program. Having defended the United States in these cases, we are well-versed in the countless jurisdictional and other defenses routinely raised by the government in an effort to defeat a takings claim.

Representative Matters
Representative Matters
  • We filed amici briefs in the Supreme Court on behalf of property owners defending the right to bring takings cases against onerous regulation. The Court upheld the right, including the right to claim just compensation, expanding property rights protection nationwide.
  • We brought Section 1983 legal challenges to local denials of major project plans, prompting localities to settle and approve development plans rather than run the risk of being ordered to pay damages to the owners for violating private property rights.