Private Property Rights

News & Analysis as of

A “Magnificently Convoluted and Contentious” Plat

Plats continue to be a source of frustration, uncertainty and expense for owners of waterfront property. In Sims Township v. Arenac County Drain Commissioner, the Michigan Court of Appeals described a "magnificently...more

2014 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2015 Forecast

At first it seemed 2014 had been a relatively slow year for eminent domain cases. But looking back, there was more activity than we initially recalled. There were few decisions that provided any dramatic shift in the...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: What’s Underground Is Still Up For Grabs in Texas

Since the first oilman drilled the first water disposal well, cases have come through the courts in the U.S. trying to determine what rights each estate owner has, as well as the potential liability attributable to using...more

Can a Condominium Association Ban Smoking in an Individual Unit?

States, cities and businesses are banning smoking in more and more places. Can condominium associations do the same by prohibiting residents from lighting up in their own homes? Many American smokers may think that’s...more

Litigation Alert: "Texas Appellate Court Says Pipeline Must Convince Jury of Common Carrier Status in Condemnation Case"

An intermediate Texas appellate court has called for an extensive jury role in the ongoing issue of determining when a pipeline is a common carrier. Common carrier status is critical to the pipeline company’s ability to use...more

An Overview of the Lingering Uncertainty Surrounding the "Guns in Trunks" Law

Background The volume of gun sales has been increasing steadily across the United States over the last few years, and more citizens than ever are obtaining state-issued concealed firearms licenses. State governments, as well...more

Case Could Alter the Reach of the Endangered Species Act

The U.S. District Court for the District of Utah attracted national attention with its November decision in People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in which it ruled...more

Court Decision Confirms Shopping Center's Right To Limit Expressive Activity to Designated Areas

The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a retail owner's right to limit expressive activity to areas designated in a written policy. The decision highlights the value of time, place, and manner policies to commercial...more

Fresh Bill In Newly-Convened N.C. State Legislature Aims At Condemnation Powers

Portending what is likely to be a significant legislative session for local government powers and real property rights in North Carolina, the first "substantial" bill introduced in the 2015-2016 session of the North Carolina...more

Prairie Dogs vs. Congress

A recent ruling by a Utah federal judge, although directed at the Endangered Species Act (ESA), may have far-reaching implications on Congress' commerce clause powers. In a first-of-its-kind ruling, U.S. District Judge Dee...more

Beneath the Surface: Entek GRB, LLC v. Stull Ranches, LLC and the Continuing Battle Between Surface Owners and Subsurface Owners

On August 14, 2014, the Tenth Circuit vacated and remanded the lower court’s decision regarding a dispute between a surface owner’s and a subsurface owner’s respective rights to access and enjoy land and property rights. ...more

Ninth Circuit Finds State Trespass and Nuisance Laws Not Preempted by Secondary Boycott Law

In a recent decision involving the interplay between California law and federal labor law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that state trespass and nuisance laws are not preempted by the federal secondary...more

Utah Prairie Dog Could Narrow Endangered Species Act

A Utah federal court has created the potential for a constitutional showdown that could result in a significant narrowing of the Endangered Species Act and further limiting Congress’ power to legislate. In an unprecedented...more

Guns In The Workplace Versus Employer’s Property Rights

There is a growing trend of state laws prohibiting employers from banning firearms on employers’ property. These laws are otherwise known as “parking lot laws.” At the state level, more and more states appear prepared to...more

Today’s Special: What May Be on Your Hospital Cafeteria Menu Soon

On November 14, 2014, an Administrative Law Judge fired another round in the continuing skirmish between the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the federal courts over the rights of union representatives to enter an...more

Utah Federal Court Strikes Down as Unconstitutional a Regulation Under the Endangered Species Act Protecting Utah Prairie Dogs on...

The Utah Prairie Dog is a species that exists only in Utah, where it lives on both federal and private land. The species is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, and a federal regulation...more

Ownership of Michigan Islands

Islands, large and small, can be found in many of Michigan's rivers and inland lakes. Some islands are just large enough to support a couple of trees and others boast spectacular homes or resorts. Big or small, islands are...more

Retail's Best Kept Secret against Non-Employee (Union or Otherwise) Protestors? Property Rights and an Evenly Enforced Policy...

As the holiday season approaches, non-employee protestors, labor organizers or otherwise, often target retailers in an effort to maximize the reach of their message due to the high foot traffic experienced at retail...more

Resource Update: NLRB's Continuing Expansion of Off-Duty Access Rights

Since the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Republic Aviation v. NLRB almost seventy years ago, courts and the National Labor Relations Board have been weighing employers' property rights against union rights under...more

Suit by Denton, Texas, Royalty Interest Owners Could be Harbinger of More Suits If Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Ban Passes

Ahead of the November 4th vote that could make it the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing, the City of Denton has been sued by a group of royalty interest owners claiming that the city’s current temporary ban...more

Magic Words to Preserve an Interest in an IRU?

Previously on this Law Advisor, I questioned whether an IRU is really an IRU. In particular, after peeling back the layer of the IRU onion, what really is it? I suggested that an IRU is a capital lease with the right to quiet...more

Privacy or Property? Arizona Court Adopts Post-Mortem Right of Publicity In Intra-Family Online Dispute

The right of publicity, i.e., the right not to have others appropriate your name or image for commercial purposes, is an odd duck. It was described by Professor Prosser in 1960, and later in the Restatement of Torts, as of...more

French Constitutional Court Rules on the “Florange” Law

Court upholds some of the law’s requirements but deems provisions on sanctions to be unconstitutional. The French Constitutional Court rendered an important decision on 27 March regarding the validity of the so-called...more

Court of Appeal confirms that information is not property

In a recent judgement, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales held that an electronic database was not a chose in possession or a chattel but a chose in action (see our earlier blog regarding the grant of leave to appeal in...more

Requiring Landowners To Dedicate An "Overflight" Easement Is Not A Taking, Even When All An Owner Seeks Is A Minor Building Permit

The United States Supreme Court decisions in Nollan and Dolan provide landowners with a useful tool for seeking compensation when government agencies use their land use authority to exact valuable property rights and other...more

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