Monday, April 26, 2004

How NOT to litigate a takings case

The 11th Circuit released this opinion in a case where landowners sued the City of Fort Walton Beach in a s. 1983 action. The allegation is basically that city employees or officials came in at the request of a private party (HAS to be a neigbhor fight) and paved a section of their property.

For some reason they went to federal court with a 1983 claim for takings (under the public use clause) rather than suing for inverse condemnation in Florida court. Don't ask me why - you'd get more compensation in a Florida court case (full being atty's and engineers/appraisers) if you win than in fed court, and you could much more effectively litigate the title issues.

Moreover, the case is (as Matt C points out over at Abstract Appeal) a good exposition in how not to plead when trying to attach 1983 liability to a city or even to get the personnel on the hook personally.

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