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Ohio's push for land rights in court

Ohio's push for land rights in court

By Andi Anderson

The Ohio Farm Bureau has recently stepped into the judicial spotlight by filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, pressing for a significant legal review that could enhance the rights of landowners across Ohio.

The case in question, O’Connor v. Eubanks, challenges the limitations placed on landowners' ability to sue the state in federal court over property takings without proper compensation.

At the core of the dispute is a grievance over "inverse condemnation," a legal claim landowners can use when the government takes property without following due legal procedures.

Leah Curtis, Policy Counsel for the Ohio Farm Bureau, emphasized the importance of this case, noting that Ohio is unique in its lack of a straightforward inverse condemnation process.This forces landowners into a protracted state court system, complicating their pursuit of just compensation and attorney fees.

The Ohio Farm Bureau argues that opening federal courts to such claims would provide a more direct path for resolving these disputes.

This approach was somewhat supported by the Supreme Court's decision in Knick v. Scott Township, which allowed federal courts to hear takings claims against lower levels of government, like townships or cities.Current legal standards prevent these claims from being brought against state governments in federal courts.

The brief by the Ohio Farm Bureau seeks to expand on the precedent set by Knick, aiming to simplify the legal processes for landowners facing property takings by the state.

Curtis pointed out that while the pathway to a Supreme Court review could be lengthy, with a decision on whether to hear the case expected by fall and potential court arguments in early 2025, the implications for landowner rights are profound.

The Ohio Farm Bureau's ongoing advocacy highlights the challenges and complexities within eminent domain laws and the need for a legal system that more readily upholds the rights of landowners.

This case represents a crucial step in defining the balance between state authority and individual property rights on a national scale.

Photo Credit: ohio-farm-bureau

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Categories: Ohio, General, Government & Policy

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