Law Faculty Articles and Research

Found Money: IOLTA, Brown v. Legal Foundation of Washington, and the Taking of Property without the Payment of Compensation

Ronald D. Rotunda, Chapman University


When James Madison drafted the Fifth Amendment, he included the "takings" clause, which provides that "private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation." Madison included this provision because he believed that property rights are a part of human rights. In an essay published after the states ratified the Bill of Rights, Madison explained: If there be a government then which prides itself in maintaining the inviolability of property; which provides that none shall be taken directly even for public use without indemnification to the owner, and yet directly violates the property which individuals have in their opinions, their religion, their persons, and their faculties; nay more, which indirectly violates their property, in their actual possessions, in the labor that acquires their daily subsistence, and in the hallowed remnant of time which ought to relieve their fatigues ... such a government is not a pattern for the United States.