THE RIPENESS DOCTRINE OF THE TAKING CLAUSE: A SURVEY OF DECISIONS SHOWING JUST HOW FAR FEDERAL COURTS WILL GO TO AVOID ADJUDICATING LAND USE CASES

Gregory Overstreet

This Article asserts that the two-prong ripeness doctrine, the final decision prong and the state compensation prong, discourages private landowners from bringing suit in federal court. The Article explains the history of the ripeness doctrine, from its evolution in Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank and MacDonald, Sommer & Frates v. County of Yolo through current ripeness decisions in both federal and state courts. This was the first Article written explaining the effect of First English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Glendale v. County of Los Angeles on the State Compensation Prong -- explaining that after First English, there will always be adequate compensation available at the state court level, and due to principles of res judicata, the injured property owner will not have access to federal court. The Article explains the importance of a property owner being in federal court, rather than state court, because locally-elected judges are biased towards the municipality and not the small property owner. This Article is a great research tool for issues on the ripeness doctrine in takings.

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