Amicus Curiae Brief Filed in Fifth Amendment Takings Case on Behalf of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties

Today, I filed another friend of the court (amicus curiae) brief in the Court of Appeals for the counties of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne.  The plaintiff filed suit against the state of Michigan claiming administrative user fees paid into the county court Friend of the Court system are an unconstitutional taking of private property in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The position in the brief I wrote on behalf of the three largest metropolitan counties in Michigan is that the user fees are not separate property that the users are compelled to part with as a result of unconstitutional governmental regulation.

Although Fifth Amendment jurisprudence concerning taking of private property without just compensation, and the legal definitions of what constitutes property and what constitutes a taking has been described as a confusing “bramble bush” by some commentators, here I reduce the main branches of the jurisprudence and explain each of the seemingly divergent categories of “takings clause” jurisprudence.

In the end, the plaintiff’s attempt to make this case similar to ones in which individuals are actually compelled to part with a separate, cognizable property interest as the result of a government’s interference fails.  Here, the user fees at issue do not even qualify under any of the analyses applied to consider whether a taking has occurred because the fees at issue are not a separately cognizable “property interest” under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Read the brief here:  (FINAL)Trantham.Amicus.Brief.filed.1.23.2015

About cjtucker06

Owner of law firm since July 2014; Handles all types of appellate matters and assists other lawyers with complex litigation and insurance coverage issues; Admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the State Bar of Michigan; Expertise in prosecuting and defending appeals with several significant successes in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals; Author of briefs amicus curiae in the Michigan Supreme Court for the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel and the Insurance Institute of Michigan; Represents Insurance Companies, Major International Business, Governmental Entities, Law Enforcement Officers and County Sheriffs. Board of Directors, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Amicus Committee Co-Chair, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel Military - Retired Major in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps of the United States Army, Brigade Judge Advocate and Staff JAG officer for the Maneuver Training Center, Camp Grayling, Michigan; Recipient of the Army's Meritorious Service Medal (the highest medal of honor available to Soldiers serving in non-combat roles); 2012 Graduate of the Judge Advocate Officer Advanced Course, at The Judge Advocate Legal Center and School, Charlottesville, Virginia. United States Navy Reserves, Combat Warfare Qualification, January 1989 to July 2003 Former law clerk to Justice Stephen J. Markman, Michigan Supreme Court, Research Attorney, Michigan Court of Appeals. Insurance Coverage Associate Plunkett Cooney; Environmental Law Attorney at Squire Sanders, now Squire Patton Boggs; Master's Degree in Environmental Law; Environmental Law Scholar, ALI/ABA Washington, D.C., Juris Doctorate, Vermont Law School, Environmental Editor, Vermont Law Review; Treasurer and Finalist, Moot Court Advisory Board.
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