The Foster Group, Inc. v. City of Elgin, Oregon

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Tort Law
  • Date Filed: 07-30-2014
  • Case #: A150344
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A taking occurs when the government takes physical possession of land, not when the idea of taking the land became known. The discovery rule comes into effect when a plaintiff should have known the harm took place.

The Foster Group (Foster), owner of a mobile home park, alleged wrongful acts by the City of Elgin (Elgin). Specifically, Foster alleged Elgin constructed a road which encroached on Foster’s property, and that Elgin conspired to fraudulently report the land under the road was the property of the city. Foster further alleged Elgin blocked access to their property without notice, bringing a 42 USC 1983 claim. The construction of the road took place in 2004, and Elgin allegedly blocked access without notice in 2008. The claim was filed in 2009. Elgin moved for summary judgment, arguing Foster’s claims were not timely. The trial court granted this motion. On appeal, Foster challenged all the trial court’s findings, raising four assignments of error. The Court held that Foster’s failure to investigate a 2001 survey that affected the boundaries of his property was unreasonable as a matter of law; the discovery rule was not triggered because Foster should have inquired when the damage occurred, especially considering his background in engineering. The Court further held Foster’s 1983 claims were timely because they arose from Elgin’s action in 2008 and the claim was brought in 2009, within the two year statute of limitations. Lastly, the Court agreed with Foster that his inverse condemnation claim was timely because it was within the six year statute of limitations. Plaintiff's 42 USC section 1983 claims and inverse condemnation claim reversed and remanded; otherwise affirmed.

Advanced Search