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Community Rights Counsel
1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 502
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-296-6889
Fax: 202-296-6895

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CONTACT: Timothy J. Dowling, 202-296-6889

Community Rights Counsel Hails Ruling Prohibiting Wasteful Relitigation

San Remo Hotel v. San Francisco, No. 04-340

Today, in San Remo Hotel v. San Francisco, No. 04-340, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that claimants under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment are not allowed to litigate every legal and factual issue twice, first in state court and then in federal court. Some developers use litigation, or even the mere threat of litigation, to gain leverage when negotiating with local officials over applications for building permits. If the court had allowed developers and other takings claimants to litigate every issue twice, the ruling would have greatly increased their negotiating advantage at the expense of neighboring landowners and the community at large.

Timothy J. Dowling, Chief Counsel of Community Rights Counsel, responded favorably to the ruling:

"The Supreme Court wisely put to rest the attempt by the national developers' lobby to get something no other claimant receives: two bites at the litigation apple. Developers have called takings lawsuits a 'hammer to the head' of local officials. The court today took the second hammer away from the hands of developers. The ruling will help level the playing field and allow local officials and planners to protect our communities through reasonable land use controls."

Community Rights Counsel filed an amicus brief in San Remo on behalf of California municipalities and the American Planning Association in support of San Francisco.

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