We are a National Authority in Property Rights, Constitutional Law & Appellate Litigation

Nationally recognized trial attorneys specializing in property rights, IRS disputes, appellate litigation and more.

The National Authority In

Eminent Domain Litigation

If the government takes private property the Constitution requires the government to pay the landowner “just compensation” for that property the government took form the landowner.  The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution says, “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Every state constitution contains a similar provision protecting an owner’s right to their private property.  Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you may also be entitled to be paid additional compensation for what the government took and the expenses you may have incurred in defending your right to be compensated.  The federal Uniform Relocation Act, 42 U.S.C. § 4601, et seq., requires the federal government (or a state government using federal funds or acting under federal authority) to pay your legal fees and litigation expenses.  The text of the Uniform Relocation Act is available here.

 

– Breaking News –

Sarasota landowners affected by Legacy Trail up-in-arms about government’s taking and treatment of their property

As described in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s front-page story, Sarasota residents living along the Legacy Trail are enduring painful and unnecessary hardships due to the federal government’s taking of their land and the county’s construction of the Legacy Trail.  Thor Hearne and True North Law represent hundreds of these affected landowners, and the Herald-Tribune article reports on the lawsuits Hearne has filed against both the federal government and Sarasota County.

Thor explains in the interview that the lawsuits are “not about trying to prevent the Legacy Trail, as much as to allow the Legacy Trail to be created in manner that treats the owners whose property is taken for the Legacy Trail in a fair and constitutional manner.”

Landowners along the Legacy Trail have received notices from Sarasota County warning them that they must remove encroachments, including fences, sheds, trees, and landscaping, from the Legacy Trail corridor.  Bill and Brooke Grames received one such notice to remove their shed, but the Grameses point out that the shed had been permitted and authorized by the county when they built it years ago.  Now the county is ordering them to remove it or pay an annual licensing fee to keep it.  And the county is compounding the problem by not even telling landowners where their property line supposedly ends.

The county’s construction of the trail causes many other problems as well.  In many places, the county has installed water drainage swales that now flood and cause swamp-like conditions on many residents’ properties when it rains, and the county has removed trees that used to provide privacy for homeowners.

Thor has raised the landowners’ concerns with county officials, but the county has refused to respond or address the residents’ concerns.  As the article points out, Bora Kayan, the attorney for Sarasota County, declined comment through a county spokeswoman.  The full article is available here.

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After Trial, Court Issues Sweeping Ruling in Favor of Georgia Landowners Represented by Thor Hearne

Following a trial in Atlanta, Georgia, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has issued its decision awarding the plaintiff-landowners the full value of their property taken by the federal government for the creation of a recreational rail-trail across their properties.

“This is a sweeping win and total vindication for these landowners,” said Thor Hearne, who served as lead trial counsel for all the nearly sixty landowners in Jackson, et al. v. United States (court opinion and order available here).

The court awarded the full value of the landowners’ property taken by the government as valued by the landowners’ expert witnesses.  The court overruled the government’s appraiser on every point, including stating that the government’s appraiser’s opinion “strains credulity.”

“The government actually tried to get away with saying that taking many of these landowners’ property for a public recreational trail actually made their properties more valuable and that the government shouldn’t have to pay these owners anything,” Hearne said.  “We took the government to trial, and we prevailed on every single point.”

Thor Hearne pioneered rails-to-trails takings litigation and was named by the National Law Journal as one of the nation’s Top Fifty Litigation Trailblazers and Pioneers for his work.  Over the past thirty years, he has represented thousands of landowners across the country in similar cases.

 

About Us

True North Law Group

 

True North Law Group is a Thor Hearne law firm, making us an authority in property rights and appellate litigation.

We have spent the last 30 years ardently fighting for the rights of our clients in a variety of constitutional and appellate law cases, including pioneering rails-to-trails compensation law and winning more cases on behalf of landowners than any other firm.

Your constitutional rights should never be infringed – particularly by the government – and we have devoted our practice to protecting and defending citizens through dedicated trial advocacy.

Practice Areas

Expertise

Property Rights

& Eminent Domain


Protecting your 5th Amendment rights so that you receive just compensation for your property.

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Constitutional

Law & Voting Rights


Ensuring laws comply with the constitutions at the state and federal level, including fair elections and voting rights.

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Complex

Commercial Litigation


Advocating for businesses in complex property valuation, patent disputes, eminent domain lawsuits & more.

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Appellate Litigation

Federal & State Courts


Professional appellate litigation attorneys at all levels, including US circuit courts, state Supreme Courts and the US Supreme Court.

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Tax Court Litigation

Conservation Easements


Representing clients in tax courts for IRS disputes in land valuation, conservation easements, retirement benefits & more.

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Trial Advocacy
Professionals

Federal & State Courts


Experienced trial attorneys representing clients in a range of technical areas of law, including property rights, patents & more.

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Testimonials

Success Stories

 

“Mr. Hearne,

We appreciate your work in representing the homeowners along the Legacy Trail in Mission Valley, Nokomis, FL.  The case was Rogers v. U.S.  Over a decade-long fight your firm held fast and was successful.  Thanks!”


Bob and Madeline Havlick

Accreditations &

Affiliations

 

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(314) 296-4000
112 S. Hanley Road, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63105
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