Supreme Court Reverses Lower Court’s Ruling

Supreme Court Reverses Lower Court's Ruling

( – The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution provides that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The Amendment, which people usually associate with the right not to self-incriminate, therefore makes up an important part of America’s legal framework around private property rights.

Now, it has come up for discussion in a court case surrounding a city ordinance in San Francisco, California. On Monday, June 28, the US Supreme Court unanimously decided that a businessman will get the opportunity to have his case heard in full before the Court after the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit initially dismissed it.

According to the ordinance, landlords must give their tenants lifetime leases. This case centers around an investment property the businessman bought and subsequently rented out. When he tried to convert the property so he and his wife could live there, he learned that to do so could violate the ordinance and result in “enforcement action.” He made an unsuccessful attempt to pay his tenant for the lease before pursuing legal action, alleging the ordinance amounted to a “regulatory taking.”

This ruling does not make any final decisions, but it ensures that this ordinance’s legality will undergo proper scrutiny. California’s property owners will undoubtedly keep a close eye on developments here, as a win for the plaintiff could return some much-needed power to the people in one of the country’s most hectic property markets.

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