SOUTH LAFOURCHE LEVEE DISTRICT v. CHAD JARREAU

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Supreme Court of Louisiana.

SOUTH LAFOURCHE LEVEE DISTRICT v. CHAD M. JARREAU

No. 2016-C-0788, No. 2016-C-0904

Decided: March 31, 2017

Defendant is in the dirt business and owns land from which he digs and sells dirt. The government is entitled to “appropriate” defendant's land, but must pay him fair compensation mandated by the Constitution. This court affirms an award of $11,869 despite evidence in the record that the dirt taken from the land has a value in excess of $100,000. Even if the most restrictive measure of compensation is applied, this value should be considered in determining the award to defendant. When the government can take private property without paying the landowner, something is wrong.

Hughes, J., dissents and assigns reasons.