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Case Study: Berman v. Parker (Case Study Sample)


Task: Case Study: Berman v. Parker The sample is about Case Study: Berman v. Parker


Case Study: Berman v. Parker
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Procedural History
The plaintiff filed a suit which challenged the legitimacy and constitutionality of the Agency taking their departmental store. The store was located at Southwest Washington D.C. at the 712 Fourth Street. The Court ruled in favour of the Commission of planners claiming that the redevelopment Act governed the decision of the committee.
Background of the Case
Berman v. Parker case was one of the landmark decisions that interpreted the clause of the Fifth Amendment, which postulates that private property should not be taken by a third party or government for public use without compensating the owner. In 1945, the United States Congress had passed the Act on Columbia Redevelopment, which addressed the challenges that the District of Columbia faced (Lindstrom, 2011). Five members, based on the regulations of the Act, were elected to chair the District of Columbia Redevelopment. The Act mandated the five members to redevelop regions that were underdeveloped, and those that need utmost consideration in an attempt to increase the operations of Columbia. Economic development was the key factor in the region, and this was believed to be facilitated by the Agency. The Act, in addition, also provided Agency with the mandate to oversee the operations of different domain, and grant them power to, either, transfer any private property from its original owner to the public service. The Agency will then use the property acquired to enhance redevelopment of Columbian region. The Act’s intention was to clear slums and also modernize Columbia’s urban environment.
The initial project for the Act was in the Southwest Washington, D.C.—Project Area B. Later on, a comprehensive plan was developed, and it indicated the various areas that redeveloped were supposed to be undertaken. It outlined that the majority of the dwellings in the region, 64.3%, were not repairable, some of the regions also needed major repairs (18.4%), and 17.3% of the house dwellings were satisfactory among others (Lindstrom, 2011). It was critical for the Committee for Redevelopment of Columbia to implement strategic measures in order to enhance the realization of their strategic goal and mandate. After the approval of the plan, the Agency commenced the redevelopment process in the area. The plan had articulated to specific dwelling units that ensured proper housing in the region. It is at the early stages of this redevelopment process that the plaintiff filed a suit which challenged the legitimacy and constitutionality of the Agency taking their departmental store.
Facts of the Case
The creation of Columbia Redevelopment Act meant that the District was to develop a team that will foresee the implementation of the Act’s mandate. The objective of the committee was to locate blighted areas and redeveloped them with an aim of increasing economic development. Berman, with other appellants that are the owners of the departmental store were undertaking heir business initiatives in one of the areas that were targeted by the Agency. The commission wanted to seize their business property with an aim of beautifying the region. The owners of the land filed the case with the federal District Court in which they were challenging the Agency’s actions basing on the Act. The District Court dismissed the case. They later filed an appeal to the United State’s Supreme Court.
The plaintiff was the owner of the departmental store that had not been blighted, but the Agency had scheduled the premise to be taken by a domain in order to clear the area that the departmental store is located. The plaintiff argument was that the property was not located in the slum area, and it was deemed not be a slum house. The departmental store can be used by the management with an aim of redeveloping it rather than blighting the property. Such redevelopment would not only benefit the private user, but also the community as a whole. The owner’s also purported that taking the land would amount to wrongful repossession of one’s land without his or her consent. However, it was clear that the intentions of the developers were to reduce the vast slum areas, and redeveloped it into a reliable and economically profitable region. Indeed, the plaintiff argued that the decision of the Agency was in violation of the 5th Amendment of the United States’ Constitution, which stipulated that compensation should be undertaken when the private user takes ownership of the property; intention being to benefit himself (Lindstrom, 2011).
On the other hand, the defendants argued that they were following requirements and the guidelines set aside by the Act. The standard requirements of the Act are definite and can easily sustain the delegation of the authority to the individuals administering and executing the Act’s mandate of eliminating slums, and the areas that will produce, after a through assessment, slums (Scheiber, 2007). They argue that when they have achieved the public purpose, based on the guidelines of the Act, they will have to redevelop the area, which will conducive for habitation.
Decision of the Courts
The District Court that heard the case was composed of a three-panel judge. The fundamental issue that was addressed was the scope and the ability that the government was mandated in transferring the private property from private owners to private developers. The mandate was to ensure that the entire area was developed (Ginsberg, 1971). The judge of the case found it wise for the government to clear the blighted structures, and the judge opined that the defendant took the correct action—based on the Constitution—to abate a public nuisance. After reading the Redevelopment Act, the judge found out that the government’s intention was in acc...
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