Skip to Main Content

Private Property Rights

Private Property Rights

What are our rights when it comes to Private Property? Explore how the Supreme Court has decided on the issue by examining these landmark cases.

United States v. Causby (1946)

The Court found a taking when low-flying jets at an airbase made farming impossible on nearby land even though the government never actually claimed the land itself. Read More.

United States v. Cors (1949)

The owner of a taken tugboat was not entitled to the market value at the time of the taking (during World War II) since the government’s need for the boat in the war inflated its price. Read More.

Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan (1982)

A New York law granted a cable company permanent access to parts of private apartment buildings. The Court found that partial takings had to be compensated for since the access was a physical invasion of the property. Read More.

Nolan v. California Coastal Commission (1987)

California could not require beachfront property owners seeking building permits to maintain a public walkway on their property as a condition of being granted a building permit. Read More.

Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Commission (1992)

The owner of a beachfront property had to be compensated after a state law stopped all new construction on his property, because the law totally eliminated the land’s economic value. Read More.

Dolan v. City of Tigard (1994)

Cities could not require property owners to give up parts of their land for public use in order to receive permits to develop that land (in cases where the city’s demands had no connection with the development intended by the owner). Read More.

Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (2002)

A temporary moratorium on new development did not constitute a partial taking of landowners’ property, and property owners were not entitled to compensation. Read More.

New London v. Kelo (2005)

Cities could take private property in order to turn it over to private developers, if the new development would result in greater revenue and benefits to the city. The Court held that if the transfer of property was for “public benefit,” it satisfied the Fifth Amendment’s “public use” requirement. Read More.

MGM Studios v. Grokster (2005)

Companies that produce file-sharing software could be held liable for copyright infringements resulting from the use of that software. Read More.

Palazzolo v. Rhode Island (2008)

A property owner who acquired title to a property after it was already subject to wetlands regulations could bring a takings claim under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Read More.

Stop the Beach Renourishment Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection (2010)

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Florida Supreme Court, and held that it had not caused a “judicial taking.” The state was the owner of previously submerged land, even if that land came between a beachfront land owner and the water. Read More.

More of this Category