Back in 1994, Coy Koontz, Sr. sued a Florida land use agency for placing unconstitutional demands on his application to develop a couple acres of commercial property located at the intersection of two major highways. On 2/19/16, over two decades later, his battle for his property rights has finally come to an end—and a just one at that. When Koontz applied to develop his land, a local land use agency said it would approve the permits, but only if he paid to restore degraded wetlands owned by the government and located miles away the development.

When Koontz objected, the agency denied his permits. Years of litigation followed. The trial and appellate courts ruled in favor of Koontz, holding that the agency had violated rights guaranteed by the Takings Clause. The Florida Supreme Court disagreed. At that point, PLF filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court and scored a major victory for all property owners in the case, Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District (2013). 

For Koontz, however, the litigation continued. The case returned to the Florida courts, where the court of appeals once again, upheld the trial court’s conclusion that the agency’s refusal to issue the permits without the unconstitutional demands effected a taking and that the agency must pay just compensation. In June 2014, the agency petitioned for review, asking the Florida Supreme Court to revisit the case and overturn the lower court’s compensation award. PLF filed briefs in opposition to review, and the matter had been pending ever since.

On 2/19/16, PLF received an order from the Florida Supreme Court denying the government’s petition, bringing a long-overdue conclusion to Koontz’s legal fight. Now, all that’s left is to go back to the trial court to collect a compensation award issued back in 2006. PLF Director of Communications discusses the ramifications of this decision with PLF Atlantic Center Managing Attorney Mark Miller.

Direct download: Koontzs_decades-long_battle_for_property_rights_comes_to_a_just_end.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 8:00am PDT

Members of the Pacific Legal Foundation look at the legacy of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and his impact on property rights, views on upholding the constitution and his involvement in some of PLF's most important victories.  The round table discussion is hosted by PLF Litigation Director Jim Burling, who is joined by PLF DC Executive Director Todd Gaziano, former PLF Attorney and President Bob Best, and PLF Northwest Principal Attorney Brian Hodges.

Direct download: Antonin-Scalia-Remembrance.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 3:00pm PDT

A California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) access regulation allows union activists to trespass on the property of agricultural employers in their campaigns to recruit new dues paying members. California agricultural businesses Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing, two California based agricultural companies, have both been victims of this trespass. A Pacific Legal Foundation lawsuit argues this regulation violates the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution and is the first to challenge ALRB's regulation in federal court.

Direct download: PLF_Challenges_ALRB_Trespass_Regulation_in_Federal_Court.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 8:00am PDT

Pacific Legal Foundation will present oral argument at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Friends of Tahoe Forest Access v. U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday, February 8.  In this episode, PLF Senior Staff Attorney Ted Hadzi-Antich previews his argument that challenges the U.S. Forest Service’s plan to curtail motorized access to hundreds of miles of roads and trails in the Tahoe National Forest that were previously open to the public.  The lawsuit targets the implementation of the Forest Service’s 2005 Travel Management Rule at the Tahoe National Forest.  PLF argues the Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to adequately analyze the human impacts of prohibiting access to more than 800 miles of formerly accessible trails, failing to conduct a site-specific analysis of the routes at issue, and improperly prejudicing off-road recreation in developing the purpose and need for the regulatory decision.  Representing a number of Northern California off-road enthusiasts — both organizations and individuals — PLF’s lawsuit points out that Forest Service has put itself on the wrong side of the law in its drive against public access.

Direct download: Forest_Access_Case_Goes_to_Ninth_Circuit_2-3-16.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 8:00am PDT

PLF attorneys discuss how competition and choice can boost the quality of all schools, public and private, and how PLF is defending promising school-choice programs in courts around the country.

Direct download: 2016_National_School_Choice_Week.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 8:30am PDT

The PLF case of Murr v Wisconsin deals with the important “relevant parcel” question in property-rights law: May government tell owners that the more property they own, the less they’ll be permitted to use?

Direct download: 1_20_16_murr_.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 10:05am PDT

The state's new "endangered" listing for the gray wolf is bad science and bad law -- as well as bad for ranchers, farmers, and the communities that depend on them in far Northern California.

Direct download: 1-13-16_gray_wolf.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 11:57am PDT

A survey of some key cases that PLF will litigate this year, promoting the property rights principles that are the foundation’s signature issue. 

Direct download: PLF_fights_for_property_rights.mp3
Category:Non-Profit -- posted at: 11:29am PDT






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