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United States v. Causby

United States Supreme Court
328 U.S. 256 (1946)


Facts

Causby (plaintiff) owned a chicken farm near an airport in Greensboro, NC. In 1942, the United States (defendant) began using this airport for frequent and regular military flights, which passed less than 70 feet over Causby’s home and farm. The noise and lights from the behemoth planes was overwhelmingly intrusive, which caused the family to suffer ongoing sleep deprivation, nervousness and fear, led to the death of 150 chickens, and forced Causby to close his business. The court of claims held that the United States had taken an easement over the property, and granted an award of $2,000 for the easement and resulting property damage. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Douglas, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Black, J.)

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