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Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council Case - Essay Example

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He had the intention of constructing homes for single families, such as those already built on the adjacent parcels. In 1988, the state legislature enacted the Beachfront Management Act…
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Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council Case
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Lucas vs. South Carolina Coastal Council Case Lucas vs. South Carolina Coastal Council Case In the year 1986, Lucas purchased 2 residential lots on a barrier island in South Carolina. He had the intention of constructing homes for single families, such as those already built on the adjacent parcels. In 1988, the state legislature enacted the Beachfront Management Act. This barred Lucas from building any habitable structure that was permanent on his purchased parcels. This resulted in him filing a suit against the state agency that was respondent, contending that while the act was lawful, the construction ban effected a taking under Amendments 5 and 14. This required a just compensation be paid out. The court agreed, finding that Lucas parcels were valueless and entered a reward of over $1.2 million. In reversing the ruling, the State Supreme Court bound itself by finding that Lucas failed to attack the validity of the Act. It found that if a regulations design aimed at preventing noxious or harmful use of property, there was no compensation required regardless of the effect of the regulation on the value of the property.
A taking is constitutive of all regulations that deprive the land owner of all uses of his land that are economically beneficial (Echeverria & Ebby, 2009). This is unless the interests of proscribed use are missing from the title. The decree or law should only duplicate the result achievable in a court under the nuisance law. Analysis of total takings needs consideration of the following:
1) The extent of harm to all public land and its adjacent properties created by the regulated activities.
2) Such activities social value.
3) The ease of avoiding the alleged harms through any measure taken either by the government or by the claimant.
Stevens J. dissented to the ruling by attacking the categorical rule as made by the court. According to him, the rule was an unwise and unsound addition to the undertakings law (Echeverria & Ebby, 2009). The court, in past rulings, had rejected any formulas that were absolute in the determination of takings and had in previous rulings frequently held a law which rendered valueless property as not constituting a taking. Blackmun J. also dissented. He claimed that the court’s granting of certiorari to this case’s hearing was unnecessary as it ignored its limits of jurisdiction. It created an exception and a categorical rule anew simultaneously. The owner would not have undergone a total loss since he could still enjoy other ownership attributes like exclusive rights to camping, swimming, and picnicking.
Cities can take private property and put them up for development privately. This is the eminent domain, whose basis is that a sovereign state possesses dominion over all property within the borders it administers. In the year 2005, Kelo vs. the City of New London came before the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled that the city of Connecticut could condemn private property that was un-blighted, transferring it to another owner for public benefit such as increased tax returns and employment (Echeverria & Ebby, 2009).
According to the eminent domain ruling, state officials could forcibly take land from one person and deliver it to another developer, reaping increased taxes. However, this could also be construed as theft. The ruling by the federal court, while granting the government permission to seize land legally, does not remove any part of the action’s detestable nature. The ruling in the Kelo case also proved to be a morality test for government officials. They could abuse the power given to them to acquire land by false representation.
If I purchased land only to be prevented from building on it since the government wanted to take the property away, I would be livid. On top of going to court, I would seek the aggressors out one by one and tell them how I feel.
Echeverria J. D, Ebby R. B. (2009): Let the people judge: Wise Use and the Private Property Rights Movement. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. Read More
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