Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Arkansas Game and Fish Comm'n v. U.S.

Takings clause: Government-induced flooding: Fifth Amendment: Government-induced flooding temporary in duration gains no automatic exemption from Takings Clause inspection; no magic formula enables a court to judge, in every case, whether a given government interference with property is a taking; none of the Court’s decisions authorizes a blanket temporary-flooding exception to the Court’s Tak­ings Clause jurisprudence, and the Court declines to create such an exception in this case; the Court summarized prior flooding cases as standing for the proposition that in order to create an enforceable liability against the Government, it is, at least, neces­sary that the overflow be the direct result of the structure, and con­stitute an actual, permanent invasion of the land; when regulation or temporary physical invasion by government interferes with private property, time is a factor in determining the existence vel non of a compensable taking. See, e.g., Loretto v. Tele­prompter Manhattan CATV Corp., 458 U. S. 419, 435, n. 12. Also rel­evant to the takings inquiry is the degree to which the invasion is in­tended or is the foreseeable result of authorized government action. See, e.g., John Horstmann Co. v. United States, 257 U. S. 138, 146. So, too, are the character of the land at issue and the owner’s “rea­sonable investment-backed expectations” regarding the land’s use, Palazzolo v. Rhode Island, 533 U. S. 606, 618, as well as the severity of the interference, see, e.g., Penn Central, 438 U. S., at 130–131. In concluding that the flooding was foreseeable in this case, the Court of Federal Claims noted the Commission’s repeated complaints to the Corps about the destructive impact of the successive planned devia­tions and determined that the interference with the Commission’s property was severe. The Government, however, challenged several of the trial court’s factfindings, including those relating to causation, foreseeability, substantiality, and the amount of damages. Because the Federal Circuit rested its decision entirely on the temporary du­ration of the flooding, it did not address those challenges, which re­main open for consideration on remand (U.S. S. Ct., 04.12.12, Arkansas Game and Fish Comm'n v. U.S., J. Ginsburg).

Expropriation: de manière générale et dans les cas particuliers d'inondations provoquées par l'état : même si l'inondation n'est que temporaire, il n'existe pas de règle automatique impliquant que l'acte gouvernemental ne saurait être dans ce cas qualifié d'expropriation. Les cas d'inondations temporaires peuvent donc de cas en cas constituer une expropriation, et les facteurs à considérer à cet égard sont la durée de l'inondation, la mesure dans laquelle la nuisance est envisagée, la mesure dans laquelle la nuisance constitue un résultat prévisible de l'acte gouvernemental en lui-même conforme au droit, les caractéristiques des terres inondées, les espérances raisonnables du propriétaire liées à son investissement et relatives à l'usage de ses terres, et l'intensité de la nuisance.

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