September 18th, 2020 — In
My Property is Being Flooded–Is That a Taking That I Can Be Compensated For Under the Constitution?
This Article is written by Owners’ Counsel of America for general informational purposes only. It is intended to assist landowners in understanding some of the basic issues and questions that may arise when faced with a flooding of private property potentially caused by a governmental body. This Article is not to be viewed as providing legal advice or to be considered as a substitute for consulting with an experienced eminent domain, takings or property rights lawyer on the matters covered herein. Flooding: An Issue That Many Property Owners Are Currently Experiencing More intense weather patterns, aging and inadequate public infrastructure, stressed drainage systems, rapid and dense land development—these are some of key factors leading to increased amounts of runoff across vulnerable neighborhoods, communities, and private properties, both urban and rural. Over the last several years, regularly occurring flood events have led to significant housing, property and economic losses across the country. When such an event happens, many landowners wonder if the government is to blame and, if so, whether compensation for injury and damage to property may be available under a takings theory. First Try to Answer Some Basic Questions Before a landowner can properly assess whether their private property has been taken by a flooding event for which just compensation should be paid, here are some basic questions that should be answered: Is a governmental body (e.g. a state, county, city, town, water or drainage district for instance) involved or responsible for the flooding situation? To establish a taking […]