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Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan CATV Corp.

458 U.S. 419 (1982)

tl;dr: When the government authorizes a permanent physical occupation of physical property, the authorization is a taking that must be fairly compensated under the Fifth Amendment.

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The case of Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan CATV Corp. deals with whether a minor but permanent physical occupation of an owner's property authorized by the government constitutes a "taking" of property for which just compensation is due under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. The Supreme Court reversed the New York Court of Appeals' decision, concluding that such a physical occupation of property is a taking. The case involves the installation of a cable on the appellant's building, which occupied portions of her roof and the side of the building. The State of New York enacted § 828 of the Executive Law in 1973, which prohibits landlords from interfering with CATV installations and limits the amount they can demand for compensation. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of §828, which requires landlords to allow both crossover and noncrossover installations but allows them to request payment from the CATV company only for noncrossovers. The Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of §828, finding that it serves a legitimate police power purpose of eliminating landlord fees and conditions that inhibit the development of CATV, and does not work a taking of the appellant's property. However, the Supreme Court concludes that a permanent physical occupation authorized by the government is a taking without regard to public interests it may serve.

The Court distinguishes between permanent physical occupation, physical invasion short of occupation, and property use regulation. Permanent physical occupation is always a taking, while physical invasion is subject to a balancing process. Recent cases have established that frequent flights above a landowner's property and the government's seizure and operation of a coal mine constitute takings, while the government's order requiring nonessential gold mines to cease operations during wartime does not. The Court has also ruled that the Government's imposition of a navigational servitude requiring public access to a pond and a state constitutional requirement that shopping center owners permit individuals to exercise free speech and petition rights on their property are takings. The distinction between a permanent occupation and a temporary physical invasion is constitutional and significant. The permanent physical occupation of someone else's property by the government is a taking and infringes on property rights. The Court affirms that a permanent physical occupation of property is a taking and entitles the property owner to compensation, but does not question the state's authority to impose appropriate restrictions on property use. The case involves a dispute over a small amount of cable and metal boxes on the roof of an apartment building, and the Court's new takings rule is being examined. The case is remanded for further proceedings to determine the amount of compensation due.

The dissenting opinion argues that the Supreme Court's per se rule based on "permanent physical occupation" is outdated and not suited to modern urban contexts. The Court's distinction between "temporary physical invasions" and "permanent physical occupations" is flawed and does not accurately describe the government intrusion in the case at hand. States have the power to regulate housing conditions and the landlord-tenant relationship without compensating for all economic injuries. The Court's argument that statutes requiring landlords to make physical attachments to their rental property do not constitute takings is flawed. The Court should use a multifactor balancing test to evaluate takings claims. The law in question does not impair private property rights in a unique way compared to other landlord-tenant legislation. The law ensures tenants have access to cable TV, which increases the building's resale value. Legislative modification of a property owner's common-law rights without compensation is permissible if it serves important public interests. The judgment of the New York Court of Appeals should be affirmed.

IRACIssue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion

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Facts & Holding

Facts:The law required landlords in the state of New York...

Holding:The Court held that the government had required a permanent...

Loretto v. Teleprompter Manhattan CATV Corp.

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