Monday, September 25, 2006

Fourth Circuit issues decision regarding inverse condemnation

In PRESLEY v. CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE, a panel of the Fourth Circuit considered the district court's dismissal of a section 1983 action against the City Presley alleged that, without her consent, the Defendants conspired to publish a map that showed a public trail crossing her yard and that the public, using the trail, caused much damage to her property. Presley asserted that the Defendants' actions violated her Fourth Amendment and due process rights. The district court granted the Defendants' motions to dismiss Presley's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The panel affirmed that there was no denial of due process, but reversed the district court on the Fourth Amendment claim.

An interesting dispute developed on the panelregardingf the Fourth Amendment claim. Judge Traxler in dissent argued that t Fourth Amendment claim was improper and that the true claim was a takings claim under the Fifth Amendment. The dissent saw the case an one of inverse condemnation and believed that the majority's decision upsets federal inverse condemnation law.

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