Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 2372 (rh) To simplify and expedite access to the Federal courts for injured [Reported in House] ...

H.R. 2372 (rh) To simplify and expedite access to the Federal courts for injured [Reported in House] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 2372


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             March 20, 2000

  Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
   To simplify and expedite access to the Federal courts for injured 
   parties whose rights and privileges, secured by the United States 
Constitution, have been deprived by final actions of Federal agencies, 
 or other government officials or entities acting under color of State 
law; to prevent Federal courts from abstaining from exercising Federal 
            jurisdiction in actions where no State law claim


        is alleged; to permit certification of unsettled State law 
        questions that are essential to resolving Federal claims 
        arising under the Constitution; and to clarify when government 
        action is sufficiently final to ripen certain Federal claims 
        arising under the Constitution.
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Private Property Rights 
Implementation Act of 2000''.

SEC. 2. JURISDICTION IN CIVIL RIGHTS CASES.

    Section 1343 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding 
at the end the following:
    ``(c) Whenever a district court exercises jurisdiction under 
subsection (a) in an action in which the operative facts concern the 
uses of real property, it shall not abstain from exercising or 
relinquish its jurisdiction to a State court in an action in which no 
claim of a violation of a State law, right, or privilege is alleged, if 
a parallel proceeding in State court arising out of the same operative 
facts as the district court proceeding is not pending.
    ``(d) If the district court has jurisdiction over an action under 
subsection (a) in which the operative facts concern the uses of real 
property and which cannot be decided without resolution of an unsettled 
question of State law, the district court may certify the question of 
State law to the highest appellate court of that State. After the State 
appellate court resolves the question certified to it, the district 
court shall proceed with resolving the merits. The district court shall 
not certify a question of State law under this subsection unless the 
question of State law--
            ``(1) will significantly affect the merits of the injured 
        party's Federal claim; and
            ``(2) is patently unclear.
    ``(e)(1) Any claim or action brought under section 1979 of the 
Revised Statutes of the United States (42 U.S.C. 1983) to redress the 
deprivation of a property right or privilege secured by the 
Constitution shall be ripe for adjudication by the district courts upon 
a final decision rendered by any person acting under color of any 
statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or 
territory of the United States, that causes actual and concrete injury 
to the party seeking redress.
    ``(2)(A) For purposes of this subsection, a final decision exists 
if--
            ``(i) any person acting under color of any statute, 
        ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or 
        territory of the United States, makes a definitive decision, as 
        described in clauses (ii) and (iii), regarding the extent of 
        permissible uses on the property that has been allegedly 
        infringed or taken;
            ``(ii)(I) one meaningful application, as defined by 
        applicable law, to use the property has been submitted but has 
        been disapproved without a written explanation as described in 
        subclause (II), and the party seeking redress has applied for 
        one appeal and one waiver which has been disapproved, in a case 
        in which the applicable statute, ordinance, custom, or usage 
        provides a mechanism for appeal to or waiver by an 
        administrative agency; or
            ``(II) one meaningful application, as defined by applicable 
        law, to use the property has been submitted but has been 
        disapproved, and the disapproval explains in writing the use, 
        density, or intensity of development of the property that would 
        be approved, with any conditions therefor, and the party 
        seeking redress has resubmitted another meaningful application 
        taking into account the terms of the disapproval, except that--
                    ``(aa) if no such reapplication is submitted, then 
                a final decision shall not have been reached for 
                purposes of this subsection, except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B); and
                    ``(bb) if the reapplication is disapproved, or if 
                the reapplication is not required under subparagraph 
                (B), then a final decision exists for purposes of this 
                subsection if the party seeking redress has applied for 
                one appeal and one waiver with respect to the 
                disapproval, which has been disapproved, in a case in 
                which the applicable statute, ordinance, custom, or 
                usage provides a mechanism of appeal to or waiver by an 
                administrative agency; and
            ``(iii) if the applicable statute or ordinance provides for 
        review of the case by elected officials, the party seeking 
        redress has applied for but is denied such review, or is 
        allowed such review and the meaningful application is 
        disapproved.
    ``(B) The party seeking redress shall not be required to apply for 
an appeal or waiver described in subparagraph (A) if no such appeal or 
waiver is available, if it cannot provide the relief requested, or if 
the application or reapplication would be futile.
    ``(3) For purposes of clauses (ii) and (iii) of paragraph (2), the 
failure to act within a reasonable time on any application, 
reapplication, appeal, waiver, or review of the case shall constitute a 
disapproval.
    ``(4) For purposes of this subsection, a case is ripe for 
adjudication even if the party seeking redress does not exhaust 
judicial remedies provided by any State or territory of the United 
States.
    ``(f) Nothing in subsection (c), (d), or (e) alters the substantive 
law of takings of property, including the burden of proof borne by the 
plaintiff.''.

SEC. 3. UNITED STATES AS DEFENDANT.

    Section 1346 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding 
at the end the following:
    ``(h)(1) Any claim brought under subsection (a) that is founded 
upon a property right or privilege secured by the Constitution, but was 
allegedly infringed or taken by the United States, shall be ripe for 
adjudication upon a final decision rendered by the United States, that 
causes actual and concrete injury to the party seeking redress.
    ``(2) For purposes of this subsection, a final decision exists if--
            ``(A) the United States makes a definitive decision, as 
        defined in subparagraph (B), regarding the extent of 
        permissible uses on the property that has been allegedly 
        infringed or taken; and
            ``(B) one meaningful application, as defined by applicable 
        law, to use the property has been submitted but has been 
        disapproved, and the party seeking redress has applied for one 
        appeal or waiver which has been disapproved, in a case in which 
        the applicable law of the United States provides a mechanism 
        for appeal to or waiver by an administrative agency.
The party seeking redress shall not be required to apply for an appeal 
or waiver described in subparagraph (B) if no such appeal or waiver is 
available, if it cannot provide the relief requested, or if application 
or reapplication to use the property would be futile.
    ``(3) For purposes of paragraph (2), the United States' failure to 
act within a reasonable time on any application, appeal, or waiver 
shall constitute a disapproval.
    ``(4) Nothing in this subsection alters the substantive law of 
takings of property, including the burden of proof borne by the 
plaintiff.''.

SEC. 4. JURISDICTION OF COURT OF FEDERAL CLAIMS.

    Section 1491(a) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by 
adding at the end the following:
    ``(3) Any claim brought under this subsection founded upon a 
property right or privilege secured by the Constitution, but allegedly 
infringed or taken by the United States, shall be ripe for adjudication 
upon a final decision rendered by the United States, that causes actual 
and concrete injury to the party seeking redress. For purposes of this 
paragraph, a final decision exists if--
            ``(A) the United States makes a definitive decision, as 
        described in subparagraph (B), regarding the extent of 
        permissible uses on the property that has been allegedly 
        infringed or taken; and
            ``(B) one meaningful application, as defined by applicable 
        law, to use the property has been submitted but has been 
        disapproved, and the party seeking redress has applied for one 
        appeal or waiver which has been disapproved, in a case in which 
        the applicable law of the United States provides a mechanism 
        for appeal or waiver.
The party seeking redress shall not be required to apply for an appeal 
or waiver described in subparagraph (B) if no such appeal or waiver is 
available, if it cannot provide the relief requested, or if application 
or reapplication to use the property would be futile. For purposes of 
subparagraph (B), the United States' failure to act within a reasonable 
time on any application, appeal, or waiver shall constitute a 
disapproval. Nothing in this paragraph alters the substantive law of 
takings of property, including the burden of proof borne by the 
plaintiff.''.

SEC. 5. DUTY OF NOTICE TO OWNERS.

    Whenever a Federal agency takes an agency action limiting the use 
of private property that may be affected by the amendments made by this 
Act, the agency shall, not later than 30 days after the agency takes 
that action, give notice to the owners of that property explaining 
their rights under such amendments and the procedures for obtaining any 
compensation that may be due to them under such amendments.

SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The amendments made by this Act shall apply to actions commenced on 
or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

            Passed the House of Representatives March 16, 2000.

            Attest:

                                                 JEFF TRANDAHL,

                                                                 Clerk.

                            By Martha C. Morrison,

                                                          Deputy Clerk.

Pages: 1

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