High Court Sides With Texas Landowners In Takings Dispute

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High Court Sides With Texas Landowners In Takings Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a resounding win for landowners in Texas, ruling unanimously on Tuesday in a pivotal case that landowners can pursue their takings claim under state law. However, the court refrained from addressing a broader question concerning the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause.

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High Court Sides With Texas Landowners In Takings Dispute : Favorable Verdict

In the case of Devillier v. Texas, the dispute centered on a barrier erected by the state along sections of Interstate 10. Subsequent storms led to flooding of land adjacent to the interstate due to the barriers. Plaintiffs argued that Texas violated the Fifth Amendment by taking their property without just compensation.

The 9-0 decision, with Justice Clarence Thomas delivering the opinion, emphasized the right of property owners to pursue claims under Texas law. Justice Thomas stated, “On remand, DeVillier and the other property owners should be permitted to pursue their claims under the takings clause through the cause of action available under Texas law.”

Landowners’ Plight

Over 100 landowners contended that Texas effectively seized their farms, ranches, and homes when the state’s Department of Transportation installed traffic barriers. These barriers diverted floodwaters, transforming land into a “sprawling stormwater-detention pond” after tropical storms.