By NJBA Environmental Council Michael Gross, Esq., of NJBA Patron Sponsor Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C.

In a victory for private property rights the US Supreme Court today overruled 34 years of Federal law by declaring that the Williamson case doctrine is no longer valid.  The Court in the Williamson case held that a takings claim cannot be brought in Federal Court without first bringing the claim in State court. The history after Williamson is that any takings claim brought in federal court after a claim in State court was denied was rejected on the theory that the State court decision was a precedent that couldn’t be disturbed and the Federal court was precluded from acting on the Takings claim. Today’s 5-4 decision, authored by Chief Justice Roberts, overrules Williamson and allows property owners to proceed directly to Federal court when an action results in a taking of property without just compensation. Please click here to see the decision.