The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that a nearly 50-year-old California regulation requiring agricultural businesses to allow union organizers to enter their property for a minimum number of hours and days each year is an unconstitutional taking without compensation. A California nursery and a shipping company had challenged the regulation as essentially creating an easement across their private property without their consent and without any compensation.
The court held that requiring private property owners to allow third parties access to their property without their consent falls squarely within the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The court stated that compensation is required any time “the government physically acquires private property for public use.” The court found that the regulation, by giving union organizers “a right to physically enter and occupy the growers’ land for three hours per day, 120 days per year” takes, without compensation, a right of the property owners. The right taken is the right to exclude or withhold consent from third parties entering upon private property.
The Supreme Court was unpersuaded by the state’s arguments that the …..
Learn more about the Supreme Court Rules on Ag Property Right on the Citrus Industry website.