New Cert Petition: State Court Altering Bottle Refund Rights A Judicial Taking

Robert Thomas
Robert Thomas

BY ROBERT THOMAS – Here’s the latest foray into the judicial takings arena. In this cert petition, a beverage distributor asserts that the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision altering established property rights in unclaimed refund values in bottles resulted in a taking.

Here are the Questions Presented:

For nearly 30 years, Connecticut beverage distributors had established property rights in socalled “unclaimed refund values” accumulated in conjunction with the State’s bottle return regulatory scheme. The Connecticut Supreme Court eliminated these rights in holding that a recent amendment to the regulatory scheme did not affirmatively vest distributors with an interest in the so-called unclaimed refund values, allowing the State to retroactively take the distributors’ property.

1.  Did the Connecticut Supreme Court’s opinion eliminating an established property right, and allowing the State to retroactively take the petitioners’ property, effect a “judicial taking” in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution?

2.  Did the Connecticut Supreme Court’s opinion arbitrarily deprive distributors of their property in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when it held that distributors had no property rights in unclaimed refund values, despite 30 years of settled expectations and practices to the contrary?

Over the next few days, we’ll post the amicus briefs that have been filed in support. Follow the case on the Supreme Court’s docket here.

Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, A. Gallo & Co., Inc. v. Comm’r of Envt’l Protection, No. 13-625 (fil…

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