Barron v. Baltimore

32 U.S. 243 (1833)

 

RULE:

If amendments to the Constitution contain no expression indicating an intention to apply them to the state governments the court cannot so apply them.

FACTS:

The city diverted water from its' accustomed and natural course. The alleged consequence was that the water in the harbor was rendered so shallow as to make the owner's wharf useless. The wharf owner brought action against the city to recover damages for injuries to the wharf property. The trial court entered judgment for the owner. The court of appeals reversed, and the owner sought review. The Court dismissed the cause for want of jurisdiction.

ISSUE:

Was the provision in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, declaring that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation, intended solely as a limitation on the exercise of power by the government of the United States and is thus inapplicable to the legislation of the states?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

 The Court found that the provision in the Fifth Amendment declaring that private property should not be taken for public use without just compensation was intended solely as a limitation on the exercise of power by the government of the United States and was not applicable to the legislation of the states.

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