Takings Claims – Based on the U.S. Constitution

Takings claims are claims by property owners against government entities for depriving an owner of property without just compensation. The basis of a takings claim is in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Among other, perhaps more well-known protections, the Fifth Amendment states: “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

In general, government has the right to appropriate private property for public use, provided that it pays just compensation to the owner. A common example of this is a condemnation proceeding, where private property is appropriated by government for a public improvement and the government is prepared to pay the owner just compensation. This is not, generally speaking, subject to a claim of taking. However, when government violates the Fifth Amendment by taking private property without paying just compensation, there is a takings claim. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_taking

Petitioners, California raisin growers, started a business that processed more than 3 million pounds of raisins from their farm and 60 other farms during the two crop years. When they refused to surrender the requisite portions of raisins to the reserve, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) began administrative proceedings, alleging that petitioners were handlers who were required to retain raisins in reserve and pay assessments.

USDA wants these California raisins how far do you think they will go?