The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Ripeness

Reference Number: MTAS-1312
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: April 11, 2016
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Since the determination of whether a particular regulation has resulted in a taking of private property depends upon the economic impact of the regulation, a takings claim is not ripe, and cannot be considered by a court, until the property owner has obtained a final decision from the appropriate governmental agency on the application of the regulation to the particular parcel of property. [85] In the zoning context this final decision requirement forces the property owner to obtain two decisions from the governmental entity: (1) a rejected development plan, and (2) a denial of a variance. [86] Until the property owner has obtained a final decision, it is not possible to determine the actual economic impact of a regulation on the property in question. [87]

For taking claims brought in federal courts there is a second ripeness requirement—the property owner must first have sought just compensation in state courts before bringing a takings claim in federal courts. [88] Thus, a property owner in Tennessee must first bring an inverse condemnation action in the state courts before filing suit in the federal courts to recover just compensation for a regulatory taking.


Notes:
[85] MacDonald, Sommers & Frates v. Yolo County, 477 U.S. 340, 106 S.Ct. 2561, 91 L.Ed.2d 285 (1986); Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, supra.

[86] Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, supra.

[87] MacDonald, Sommers & Frates v. Yolo County, supra; Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, supra.

[88] Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, supra; United States v. Confederate Acres Sanitary Sewage and Drainage System, Inc., 935 F.2d 796 (6th Cir. 1991).

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