Clarksville Land Use Lawyer Erik Fuqua
Erik Fuqua

Associate attorney Erik Fuqua of the firm’s litigation group presented oral argument on two cases before the Tennessee Supreme Court during their February 5, 2014 session at Belmont Law School. The second of these cases was Phillips v. Montgomery County, Tennessee, et al., M2012-00737-SC-R11-CV. Mr. Fuqua argued the case on behalf of Montgomery County and the Clarksville Montgomery County Regional Planning Commission. In Phillips, the plaintiffs filed a complaint for inverse condemnation arguing that the County and the Planning Commission had effectively taken their property without just compensation by denying a subdivision plat for their property. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss in the trial court. Mr. Fuqua argued to the trial court that the plaintiffs were alleging a regulatory taking and that such a cause of action has never been recognized under Article I, Section 21 of the Tennessee Constitution. The trial court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss but gave them permission to pursue an interlocutory appeal. The Tennessee Court of Appeals granted defendants’ application for appeal and in a June 28, 2013 opinion reversed the trial court’s decision concerning the regulatory takings claim, noting that such a claim had never been recognized in Tennessee. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted review of the case and heard oral argument on February 5. Mr. Fuqua urged the Court to refuse to recognize regulatory takings under Tennessee law based on the Court’s prior case law, the convoluted nature of regulatory takings at the federal level, and the sufficient protections for landowners like the plaintiffs under existing Tennessee law.