The Michigan Supreme Court forms the final judgment on the extent of takings protections in the state. Michigan citizens can also challenge state and federal actions under the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which has been incorporated by the U.S. Supreme Court to apply to the states. Given that the scope of this study is to recommend reforms to Michigan’s takings structure to curb the abuses directly under control of the government within the state, the jurisprudential analysis to follow will focus on the interpretation of the takings clause by the Michigan judiciary. The level of protection afforded by the courts in Michigan, for the most part, parallels that afforded by the U.S. Supreme Court under Fifth Amendment scrutiny.
The Michigan judiciary has taken a very limited view of the law of takings protections. Property owners are greatly affected by the courts’ interpretation of the takings clause in relation to each of its key provisions — takings, public use, and just compensation. An analysis of the prevailing precedents illustrates the degree to which the courts have strayed from the original intent of the takings clause and the necessity for reform if property rights are to remain valued by the state.