Monthly Archives: April 2020

April 16th, 2020 — In News & Events

OCA Files Amicus Brief in Case Involving Destruction of Residence by Local Police

After being chased by police for stealing clothing from a Walmart, a man barricaded himself in a house in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Over a 19 hour period, using explosives and a battering ram attached to an armored personnel carrier, the local police department’s SWAT team intentionally destroyed the landowner’s house to force the fugitive to surrender. Afterwards, they offered the family $5,000 “to help with temporary living expenses.” The family sued, arguing that they were entitled to just compensation under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution for the intentional destruction of their house. The Tenth  Circuit, however, held that no compensation was due because the home was destroyed pursuant to the police power rather than the power of eminent domain. To read more about the background of the case click here. To review OCA’s Amicus Brief on a cert petition to the United States Supreme Court click here.

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April 16th, 2020 — In Uncategorized

PA Supreme Court Rejects Takings Challenge To COVID-19 Shut-Down Orders

In one of the first comprehensive court opinions on an issue of national interest, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected business owners’ challenges to the recent shut down orders issued by Governor Tom Wolf in response to COVID-19 on various legal grounds. Ruling that the orders were supported by a compelling public health rationale and were not a regulatory taking of property because they were temporary in nature, the court upheld them. For a full review and analysis of the opinion, click here.

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April 15th, 2020 — In News & Events

Webinar on Safety vs. Freedom: Are There Limits to Lockdowns?

OCA Hawaii member Robert Thomas joined Keli’i Akina, President and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on April 14th for an important Webinar on Safety vs. Freedom in the time of COVID-19.  For those who missed the webinar, you can view a list of the important topics covered as well as a recording of the entire webinar by clicking here.

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April 7th, 2020 — In News & Events

Can the Government Commandeer My Hotel to Fight COVID-19?

OCA Affiliate member Ivy Cadle of Baker Donelson asks in his recent posting, “With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, can the government take private hotel rooms to expand the capacity to care for individuals with or exposed to the virus?” Governmental entities at every level are taking unprecedented steps to fight the COVID-19 pandemic as they work to slow transmission of the virus and to prevent health care facilities from reaching overcapacity. Given that many health care facilities are nearing capacity already, it is easy to envision a world where governmental entities could appropriate private property to help respond to the crisis until the efforts are able to “flatten the curve.” The federal government has already taken the formal steps to allow the appropriation of private property. When President Trump declared a national emergency under the Stafford Act on March 13, 2020, he authorized the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to exercise the right of eminent domain to acquire both physical facilities and supplies. Even though FEMA is required to compensate owners, the Stafford Act also allows for an immediate right of possession. Accordingly, FEMA could immediately appropriate buildings, land, food, medicine, testing supplies and medical equipment, parts, fuel, etc. Read more.

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