High Court Sides With Texas Landowners In Takings Dispute


The landowners asserted their entitlement to just compensation under the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause, asserting their right to sue for the funds.

High Court Sides With Texas Landowners In Takings Dispute : Legal Maneuvering

While the ruling offers guidance for the Devillier plaintiffs to seek compensation under the federal takings clause, it sidesteps a broader question. Initially filed in state court, Texas removed the case to federal court. A federal court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, but the Fifth Circuit later overturned this decision.

Plaintiffs argued that the Fifth Amendment guarantees the right to seek compensation under the Constitution, irrespective of statutory rights. However, the high court did not address this argument, leaving the question open for future deliberation.

Legal Implications

Kevin King of Covington & Burling LLP noted, “DeVillier is an exceptionally narrow decision,” clarifying that it hinges on Texas law providing a cause of action to enforce the federal takings clause. The unresolved question of whether the takings clause itself provides a ‘self-executing’ cause of action awaits resolution in future cases.

High Court Sides With Texas Landowners In Takings Dispute : Representation

The plaintiffs are represented by Robert McNamara, Christie Hebert, Andrew H. Ward, Suranjan Sen of the Institute for Justice, Daniel Charest, Larry Vincent of Burns Charest LLP, and Charles Irvine of Irvine & Conner PLLC. Lanora Christine Pettit of the Office of the Texas Attorney General represents the defendant.