Update on COVID-19 Takings Cases

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As you may recall, it wasn’t too long after the Governor issued his executive order mandating the closure of certain businesses in California that the first takings lawsuit was filed. (See our coverage of Gondola Adventures, Inc. v. Gavin Newsom, U.S.D.C. Case No. 2:20-cv-03789 here.) That lawsuit alleged that the response by the state and county agencies to the COVID-19 situation violated the state and federal constitutions, and resulted in a partial or complete taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Notably, the case was voluntarily dismissed less than a month after the case was filed, the same day that the Governor announced he would be relaxing the criteria for reopening businesses.

Earlier this month another COVID-19 takings lawsuit was filed in federal court by a new plaintiff. The lawsuit alleges that local orders prohibiting evictions and freezing rents violate the state and federal takings clause, contracts clause, federal due process, and the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. With respect to the takings claim, the complaint alleges that “[t]he Ordinances and the enforcement thereof have caused both a complete and total regulatory and physical taking of Plaintiff’s members’ properties without just compensation in violation of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Be sure to check back as we will continue to follow this new case as it progresses.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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