Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council

505 U.S. 1003 (1992)

A 1992 United States Supreme Court opinion on the takings clause.

The case involved a South Carolina statute that prohibited construction on plaintiff’s oceanfront lots, as part of the state’s program to protect life and property from hurricane  risks.

Under the Court’s test for the takings clause, a regulation that denies the landowner all economically beneficial or productive use of his land is a taking unless the regulation is justified by background principles of the state’s law of property and nuisance.

Determining that the statute had taken all value from the plaintiff’s land,  the Court remanded the case so that a state court could determine whether the statute was justified under prior property or nuisance law of South Carolina.

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