Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania


This is potentially a significant case for airport communities because the court ruled that a private individual can skip over various local and State courts and go directly to a Federal Court for relief in the case of a ‘taking’–such as eminent domain (or an Avigation Easement… hint, hint.)

Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, No. 17-647, 588 U.S. ___ (2019), was a case before the Supreme Court of the United States dealing with compensation for private property owners when the use of that property is taken from them by state or local governments, under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The immediate question asks if private land owners must exhaust all state-offered venues for mediation before seeking action in the federal courts. The case specific addresses the Court’s prior decision from the 1985 case Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, which had previously established that all state court venues must be exhausted first, but which has since resulted in several split decisions among circuit courts. The Supreme Court ruled in June 2019 to overturn part of Williamson County that required state venue action be taken first, allowing taking-compensation cases to be brought directly to federal court.[1]