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PLF Argues Historic Murr Property Rights Case at Supreme Court
[March 20, 2017]

PLF Argues Historic Murr Property Rights Case at Supreme Court

This morning, the historic property rights case of Murr v. State of Wisconsin and St. Croix County was argued at the Supreme Court by John M. Groen, Executive Vice President and General Counsel with Pacific Legal Foundation.

PLF represents, free of charge, four brothers and sisters of the Murr family, who have fought all the way to the Supreme Court to stop bureaucrats from taking a family legacy - a vacant parcel along the St. Croix River purchased by their late parents decades ago as a family investment.

The Murrs would like to sell the vacant parcel, to fund repairs to their family cabin which sits on an adjacent parcel that their parents bought several years earlier. But government officials - imposing regulations enacted after both parcels were purchased - have prohibited them from selling or making any productive use of the vacant investment parcel. To avoid liability for a "taking" of the vacant parcel, officials are arbitrarily treating both lots as if they were a single, unified parcel - even though they were bought at different times and are legally distinct.

The case poses a precedent-setting question: Can government take property ithout compensation simply because the owner happens to also own adjacent land?

"It was an honor to argue this important property rights case before the nation's highest court," said Groen. "This case is about seeking justice for the Murr family and protecting their rights, but it is also about ensuring the integrity of everyone's constitutionally protected property rights, from coast to coast. The Constitution means what it says when it prohibits uncompensated seizure of property. With this case, we seek to reaffirm that government can't define that mandate away through the use of creative regulatory maneuvers."

PLF will archive a Facebook Live video stream of the post-argument news conference, and provide photos and short video clips. Visit:

For interviews, contact Kate Pomeroy at (970) 274-4063 or

About Pacific Legal Foundation

Pacific Legal Foundation, America's most powerful ally for justice, litigates in courts nationwide for limited government, property rights, individual liberty, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations.

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