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Jankovich v. Indiana Toll Road Comm'n, 379 U.S. 487 (1965)

Jankovich v. Indiana Toll Road Commission

No. 60

Argued December 10, 1964

Decided January 18, 1965

379 U.S. 487


Petitioners, operators of a municipal airport, brought suit in a state court for injunctive relief and damages against respondent toll road commission which had constructed a toll road whose height at a point from a planned runway petitioners contended exceeded that permitted by the municipal airport zoning ordinance. The State Supreme Court reversed the trial court's award of damages to petitioners, holding that the ordinance purported to authorize an appropriation of property (airspace) without compensation, which was unlawful under the Indiana Constitution and under the Fourteenth Amendment.


1. In holding that the ordinance effected a taking of respondent's property right in the airspace above its land without compensation, the State Supreme Court rested its decision upon independent and adequate state grounds, even though it also relied on similar federal grounds, and this Court is therefore deprived of jurisdiction to review the state court judgment. Pp. 379 U. S. 489-492.

2. The state court decision is compatible with the Federal Airport Act, which does not defeat this respondent's right under state law to compensation for the taking of airspace. Pp. 379 U. S. 493-405.

Certiorari dismissed as improvidently granted.

Reported below: 244 Ind. 574,193 N.E.2d 237.

Page 379 U. S. 488

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