Pacific Legal Foundation is a property rights advocate bulldog. They have won many legal cases on behalf of property owners all over the country. More importantly, the cases they take on are ones that will set precedence for future cases.
This is their latest high profile case as published by PLF Sentry. To read more click here.
(Other cases by the PLF are mentioned in this Exurbia Chronicles article.)
We’re facing down the Obama Administration — in defense of property rights
Published on January 9, 2013 by Rob Rivett, President at Pacific Legal Foundation
One sign of the nationwide importance of the Koontz case: The Obama Administration has weighed in against us. The Administration has filed a friend of the court brief for the bureaucracy that tried to extort the Koontzes — and against PLF’s fight to protect property owners from government arm-twisting.
The saga of this case begins more than 15 years ago, when the now deceased Coy Koontz, Sr., asked for permission to commercially develop about four acres of land in Orange County, Florida.
The St. Johns River Water Management District set a price: Mr. Koontz would have to dedicate 11 acres for conservation and pay up to $150,000 for improvements on the district’s own property.
Mr. Koontz was willing to dedicate the 11 acres, but he objected to paying for work at the government site, which was miles away, with no connection to his property or project. So, his permit application was denied.
A family’s commitment to constitutional rights brings them to the U.S. Supreme Court
The Koontz family sued over this payoff demand. After Coy Koontz, Sr., passed away, Coy, Jr., continued the fight, and, represented by PLF, the case has been taken by the nation’s highest court.
We’re building on our landmark victory 26 years ago in Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, where the Supreme Court first held that the permitting process can’t be used for shakedowns. We’re urging the Supreme Court to tell bureaucrats everywhere that the Fifth Amendment bans extortion of money and other resources, not just real property.
Just how arrogant is the bureaucracy that tried to coerce money from the Koontzes? Coy Koontz, Jr., and his wife, Linda, relay a story of being in an elevator with one of the government’s witnesses who had just testified during one of the hearings in the case. When asked why the agency hadn’t just purchased the property outright, the witness stated, “why would we buy the property when we can get it for free?” This kind of calculated, callous disregard for Americans’ property rights is why PLF fights so vigorously to defend our Constitution — and the rights of all Americans to be free from government abuse!