SCOTUS Hands Down Another Important Property Rights Case: Pakdel v City and County of San Francisco

On June 28, 2021, the Supreme Court rendered a unanimous per curiam decision, Pakdel v City and County of San Francisco, 594 U.S. ____ (2021).

The lawsuit involved a regulatory taking claim.  The City had required that as a condition of converting a tenancy-in-common to a condominium, that the owner must first offer any tenant a lifetime lease.  The Ninth Circuit held that the Plaintiffs, even though they requested two exemptions, did not present a final decision and, hence, their claim was not ripe under Williamson County Regional Planning Comm’n v Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S. 172 (1985).  The Supreme Court disagreed.  It stated, “[t]he finality requirement is relatively modest.  All a Plaintiff must show is that “there (is) no question…about how the ‘regulations at issue apply to the particular land in question.’”  Suitum v Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 520 U.S. 725, 739 (1997).

The Court reversed writing that the Fifth Amendment enjoys “full-fledged constitutional status,” the Ninth Circuit had no basis to relegate petitioners’ claim “to the status of a poor relation among the provisions of the Bill of Rights.”  Knick v Township of Scott, 588 U.S. at ___ (2019), Slip Op. at 6).

Posted in Per Se Taking, Regulatory Taking
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