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U.S. Supreme Court,

Apr. 24, 2024

The fourth time is a charm

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the Takings Clause does not distinguish between legislative and administrative permit conditions and that the practice of exacting property or cash as a development condition is extortion. The County no longer disputes the ruling and hopes for a remand to address the issue.

Michael M. Berger

Senior Counsel, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP

2049 Century Park East
Los Angeles , CA 90067

Phone: (310) 312-4185

Fax: (310) 996-6968


USC Law School

Michael M. Berger is senior counsel at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, where he is co-chair of the Appellate Practice Group. He has argued four takings cases in the U.S. Supreme Court.


This is the fourth column that I have written about Sheetz v. County of El Dorado. For those who missed the first three, the case is about a property owner in rural California who wanted to place a small manufactured home on his lot. As a condition for doing so, the County demanded an arbitrary fee of $23,420 for road improvements. In each of those earlier columns, I beseeched the courts to bring some rationality to this dark little corner...

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