BLF attorney Richard L. Bazelon won a major victory for the client, a property owner whose land had been condemned by the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Montgomery, Pennsylvania.
In an earlier state court proceeding, the client, represented by BLF, successfully challenged the condemnation, persuading the Commonwealth Court to set it aside on constitutional grounds. However, Pennsylvania courts then held that Pennsylvania law did not provide a remedy for the loss of property rights suffered by the client as a result of the unlawful taking. Reversing the federal district court, the Third Circuit held that the client could proceed with the takings claim in federal court.
In a precedent-setting ruling, the Third Circuit held that the taking of the client’s property title during the five years of the unlawful condemnation proceedings was a "per se taking," and that the remedy for this taking was provided under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The United States Supreme Court denied the Redevelopment Authority’s petition for writ of certiorari.
R & J Holding Company v. The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Montgomery, 370 F.3d 420 (3d Cir. 2011).