Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City

United States Supreme Court
473 U.S. 172 (1985)


Facts

Hamilton Bank of Johnson City (Hamilton) (plaintiff) acquired property (the Property) in Tennessee by foreclosure. Prior to Hamilton’s acquisition, the Williamson County Regional Planning Commission (the Commission) (defendant) had reversed itself more than once on whether the 1973 ordinance or the 1977 ordinance governing density should apply to the development of the Property. The Commission’s most recent decision was that the 1977 ordinance should apply; however, the prior owner of the Property had appealed to the County Board of Zoning Appeals (the BZA), which had determined that the 1973 ordinance should apply. After acquiring the Property, Hamilton resubmitted two plats for subdivision approval. The Commission did not follow the BZA’s recommendation, but instead rejected the plans for reasons based on the 1977 ordinance and reasons based on the 1973 ordinance. Neither Hamilton nor the prior owner of the Property sought variances under the 1973 or 1977 ordinances from the Commission, and Hamilton did not seek compensation for being deprived of the use of the Property. Hamilton brought suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, alleging that the Commission’s application of zoning laws to the Property amounted to an unconstitutional taking. The jury found for Hamilton and awarded damages of $350,000. The trial court granted judgment notwithstanding the verdict in favor of the Commission, reasoning that Hamilton had only suffered a temporary deprivation, which was not a taking. The trial court further ordered the Commission to apply only the 1973 ordinance. The court of appeals found for Hamilton. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Blackmun, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • 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.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Dissent (White, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 219,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.