Regulatory Taking Claim Appeals Court Verdict Reversal
Written by Michael J. O’Neill, Esq.
Smyth v. Conservation Commission of the Town of Falmouth, from the Massachusetts Appeals Court on February 19, 2019, reversed a $640,000 jury verdict against the local board on a claimed “regulatory taking” of plaintiff’s property. Real estate and land use lawyers feel the decision illustrates the high hurdles any private property plaintiff must surmount to challenge a bylaw, ordinance, regulation or permit denial of a city or town, especially to win compensation by money damages. The Appeals Court ruled for the first time in Massachusetts that there is no right to a jury trial on a regulatory taking claim.
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