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Agripost, Inc. v. Miami-Dade County

Citation: 30 ELR 20176
No. No. 97-5654, 195 F.3d 1225/(11th Cir., 11/15/1999)

The court upholds a district court decision dismissing as unripe a waste disposal plant's claim that a county's revocation of an unusual use zoning permit constituted a taking without just compensation. The plant filed suit in district court after a circuit court affirmed the county's revocation of the permit. Although it was the prevailing party, the county appealed, arguing that the district court should have dismissed the plant's takings claim on different grounds.

The court first holds that the county has standing to appeal the district court's judgment. Unless it is set aside, the court's ruling regarding the county's res judicata and collateral estoppel defenses will have a preclusive effect in pending litigation that is likely to prejudice the county. The court next holds that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine did not require the district court to dismiss the plant's takings claims. The circuit court that affirmed the county's revocation of the permit did not acknowledge and, therefore, did not litigate, the plant's takings claim. The court also holds that res judicata does not bar the plant's takings claim. The circuit court did not adjudicate a takings claim, and the plant did not have an opportunity to present the claim. The court then holds that the district court correctly held that collateral estoppel does not bar the plant's Fifth Amendment takings claim. Although certain zoning actions are invalid under Florida law if they are confiscatory, this rule only applies to zoning ordinances, not to permit denials or revocations that constitute a proper exercise of the local government's police power. Here, the circuit court concluded that the revocation was within the scope of the county's police power. Last, the court holds that the district court properly dismissed the plant's takings claim as unripe. The plant failed to pursue Florida's inverse-condemnation remedy, and it failed to allege in the district court either that Florida provided no process for obtaining just compensation or that the process it provided was inadequate.

[Counsel not available at this printing.]

Before Edmondson and Kravitch, JJ.