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BROWN V. UNITED STATES, 263 U. S. 78 (1923)

U.S. Supreme Court

Brown v. United States, 263 U.S. 78 (1923)

Brown v. United States

Nos. 97 and 98

Argued October 19, 1923

Decided November 12, 1923

263 U.S. 78


1. Where establishment of a reservoir under the Reclamation Act involved flooding part of a town, the United States had constitutional power to take by condemnation other private land near by, in the only practicable and available place, as a new townsite to which the buildings affected could be moved at the expense of the United States and new lots be provided in full or part satisfaction for those flooded. P. 263 U. S. 81.

2. The fact that, as an incident of such a readjustment, there may be some surplus lots of the new townsite which the government must sell does not characterize the condemnation as a taking of one man's property for sale to another. P. 263 U. S. 82.

3. When the award in condemnation is for the value of the property as of the date of the summons without regard to the damage arising from the owner's inability to sell or lease during the proceedings, and, under the applicable state law, the government may obtain possession promptly after bringing suit, interest from date of summons to judgment may be allowed on the award, even though the owner remained in possession, cultivating and gathering crops meanwhile. P. 263 U. S. 84. ,

4. While, semble, the Act of 1888, in directing federal courts to conform their practice and procedure in condemnation "as near as may be" to that of the state where the property is does not bind them to follow state statutes allowing interest on the award, interest in this case at 7% was properly included in fixing just compensation. P. 263 U. S. 86.

279 F. 168 affirmed.

Writs of error by both sides to review a judgment of the district court in a condemnation case.

Page 263 U. S. 79

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