On June 28, 2010, the United States Supreme Court denied certification to several property owners in Warren, Hunterdon and Morris counties who petitioned the Court challenging the constitutionality of the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act, P.L. 2004, c.120 (N.J.S.A. 13:20-1 et seq.) (the “Act”). The petitioners argued that the Act, which designates certain land as being off limits to development, is an unconstitutional taking without just compensation. In their brief for Certiorari, the petitioners pointed to the depreciation in their properties’ value that resulted from the Act, arguing that it amounted to an unlawful taking.
The challenge was initially dismissed by the Superior Court of New Jersey on January 18, 2008. The Appellate Division of the Superior Court affirmed that decision on September 4, 2009, and the New Jersey Supreme Court declined to hear the case in January 2010. On June 28, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it would not hear the case after reviewing the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari and the briefs submitted by both parties and the earlier court decisions.