David Smolker and Jake Cremer file U.S. Supreme Court brief on behalf of Hillcrest Property, LLP.

This week, Smolker Bartlett Schlosser Loeb & Hinds, P.A. attorneys David Smolker and Jake Cremer filed a brief before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Hillcrest Property, LLP. The brief was as an amicus, or “friend of the court,” in an important property rights case called Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District (No. 11-1447). The case is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court on January 15, 2013.

In Koontz, the Florida Supreme Court held that the landowner could only challenge an unreasonable request related to a development permit after giving in to it. It also said that the protections of the Takings Clause of the U.S. and Florida Constitutions only cover scenarios where the government demands real property in exchange for a permit, and not when it demands money or work. The outcome of this case will be important to any landowner in the country, including average homeowners and even agricultural and recreational landowners. Consequently, the brief asks the United States Supreme Court to protect private property rights by overturning the Florida Supreme Court’s decision and ensuring that permit conditions relate to the harms that the permitting process is intended to correct. Click here for a copy.

David and Jake practice environmental, land use, and property rights law. In addition to its general commercial litigation practice, Smolker Bartlett Schlosser Loeb & Hinds, P.A. specializes in real estate matters representing buyers, sellers, lenders and developers from due diligence through purchase, title insurance, financing, planning, zoning, permitting, tax appeals and sale or loss or damage by condemnation or regulatory taking.

The firm’s main office is located in Suite 200, 500 East Kennedy Boulevard in downtown Tampa (813-223-3888)