President’s weekly report — September 5, 2014

Water rights and the public trust doctrine going underground We filed this amicus letter brief in Environmental Law Foundation v. State Water Resources Control Board asking the California Supreme Court to review a disturbing opinion from the Court of Appeal. Historically, the … Continue reading

Can constitutional rights be destroyed by desuetude?

Earlier this month, the Second Circuit rejected a Takings Clause challenge to a New York statute that, by increasing the state’s homestead exemption, destroyed a lien holder’s property interest. Rather than resolving what sort of property interest the lien was … Continue reading

PLF defends property owners’ rights from bureaucratic abuse

In 2010, the Alameda County Grand Jury sharply condemned Oakland’s Building Services Division — which enforces building code violations — concluding that it had created an “atmosphere of hostility and intimidation towards property owners.” In the four years since, little … Continue reading

Dispelling five myths about the Martins Beach controversy

One of California’s most controversial land-use disputes  is over Martins Beach, in Half Moon Bay. The fight is over public access to the popular beach–and whether one man’s private property rights can survive a fierce backlash from well-funded and powerful interests … Continue reading

PLF attorney to present at Montana property rights conference

The Montana Property Rights Conference will take place next week, on August 14 and August 15, at the Northern Hotel in Billings, Montana.  As a keynote speaker, I will open the conference at 1:00 p.m. with a discussion of environmental … Continue reading

PLF asks California high court to hear flooding inverse condemnation case

We previously reported on the case of Biron v. City of Redding, in which an apartment building owner is seeking compensation under inverse condemnation for damage that the city’s storm drain system did during a rain storm.  The issue in … Continue reading

President’s weekly report — August 1, 2014

Obamacare — When is a Tax not a Tax? We received a negative decision from the D.C. Circuit in Sissel v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  This was our challenge to the Obamacare scheme based on the fact … Continue reading

California appellate court vindicates Proposition 13’s eminent domain protection

Enacted by voters as a ballot initiative in 1978, California’s Proposition 13 gives property owners relief on their tax bills by limiting property taxes to one percent of a property’s value, with a maximum two percent increase for inflation per … Continue reading

Re-cap of argument in San Diego seawall appeal

Yesterday, I argued Lynch v. California Coastal Commission, in the California Court of Appeal in San Diego.  As I explained last week, the appeal centers on the Commission’s refusal to allow two families to rebuild a shared, private staircase down to … Continue reading