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October 17, 2012

Supreme Court accepts another PLF property rights case!

Once more to the Supreme Court!
PLF is defending a family from a government shakedown

Unfair. Oppressive. Confiscatory.

All those words describe the treatment that Coy Koontz, Sr., and his family received from a Central Florida bureaucracy when Mr. Koontz sought to develop a few acres of the family’s property in Orange County.

Another word also applies: unconstitutional.

Now, thanks to PLF, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case!

PLF Back in the Supreme Court with Important Property Rights Case!
: PLF will argue the case on behalf of a Florida family who was denied the right to build on their land, because they refused to submit to extortionate conditions.

Fewer than one percent of appeals to the Supreme Court are accepted — but this marks the eighth time a PLF case has made the cut! And it comes right after the Court accepted our landmark litigation in Sackett v. EPA — and gave us a unanimous victory!

Our new case at the Supreme Court is Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District. PLF represents the late Mr. Koontz’s son, Coy Koontz, Jr.

“The Koontz family merely wanted to develop the family’s land in legal and responsible ways,” said PLF Principal Attorney Paul J. Beard II, who wrote the successful petition asking the Supreme Court to take the case. “But the St. Johns River Water Management District saw a chance to make all kinds of unrelated, outrageous demands.”

PLF’s new case at the Supreme Court asks: Can government extort money from property owners?

PLF Podcast Now Playing
Listen to a discussion of the Koontz case with PLF’s Jim Burling, Paul J. Beard II, and Brian Hodges

In particular, the agency demanded that the Koontz family pay for up to $150,000 in improvements on 50 acres of the district’s own land — miles away from the Koontz property!

“This permit condition bore no connection to the project that Mr. Koontz proposed,” said Beard.

“This is a classic case of an unconstitutional shakedown. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that government can’t use the permitting process to extract conditions that aren’t related to the impact of the proposed development.”

Fighting to uphold PLF’s Nollan victory

As PLF supporters know, that ruling came in PLF’s 1987 victory, Nollan v. California Coastal Commission. In this new case, we’re asking the Court to rein in agencies that ignore Nollan — and to make it clear that Nollan forbids extortion of money, not just real property.

Donate, to help PLF keep “rescuing liberty” at the Supreme Court — and nationwide!

We expect the hearing at the Supreme Court to be scheduled for the first quarter of 2013. PLF’s Paul J. Beard II will be arguing on behalf of the Koontz family — and the rights of all property owners, nationwide.

So, PLF’s 40th anniversary year will be celebrated not just with a gala at the Reagan Library in March — to which you’re all invited (stay tuned!) — but also with landmark litigation at the nation’s highest court!

To our thousands of supporters: THANK YOU for making it possible for us to keep going back to the Supreme Court for precedent-setting victories! Please continue to donate so we can keep “rescuing liberty” through the years ahead!

Rob Rivett
Pacific Legal Foundation 

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