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Harbours Pointe of Nashotah, L.L.C. v. Nashotah, Village of

Citation: 32 ELR 20421
No. No. 01-1359, 278 F.3d 701/(7th Cir., 01/28/2002)

The court affirms a district court holding that a development company failed to exhaust adequate state remedies in challenging as a taking a special assessment levied by a village. In 1980, the village entered an agreementto construct a local sewer system and levied reserve capacity assessments to fund the project. In 1996, the development company obtained property in the village. It then entered into an agreement with the village under which the developer paid the village $ 137,000 for the 1980 reserve capacity assessment. Because the village had already received sufficient funds to pay for the sewer project for which the assessment was originally levied, the developer filed suit claiming that the village, acting under color of law, had taken the developer's property in violation of the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The court first holds, however, that a state statute that authorizes local municipalities to levy and collect special assessments for specific public works projects provides claimants with the sole remedy for any complaint regarding a municipality's collection assessments. Additionally, the remedies afforded under this statute are adequate. Moreover, the developer failed to pursue its state remedy in a timely fashion. The developer, therefore, waived its right to assert a claim for just compensation under either state or federal law.

Counsel for Plaintiff
James W. Hammes
Cramer, Multhauf & Hammes
1601 E. Racine Ave., Ste. 200, Waukesha WI 53187
(262) 542-4278

Counsel for Defendant
Charles H. Bohl
Whyte, Hirschboeck & Dudek
111 E. Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 2100, Milwaukee WI 53202
(414) 274-3941

Bauer, J. Before Coffey and Wood, JJ.