Until this week, it had almost become a truism that the Just Compensation Clause only required that the Government pay for whatever property it took, and imposed no other restrictions. That is, the Just Compensation Clause is a sword, not a shield. Not so anymore. With the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Horne v. Department of Agriculture, property owners effectively have a taking defense, not just a taking claim, if the Government seeks to take their property.
On May 15, 2013, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims denied a request for attorneys’ fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) in a case that was previously filed in the CFC, but was ultimately remanded and resolved in an administrative proceeding without the CFC hearing the merits of the claims. The case is Hughett v. United States and the opinion can be read in its entirety here.