Thomas Lee Causby Case Study

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Thomas Lee Causby has owned and took care of a chicken farm outside of Greensboro, North Carolina. His farm was about 2.8 acres of land all near an airport used for military and commercial flights. The farm was located near an airport used often by the military. Causby said the noise from the airport nearby disturbed his chickens so much that the chickens started dying off. He wanted the military to stop using his airspace to fly their planes. He claimed he owned all of the air above his land and that the planes flying above him should stop for the sake of his chickens. The problem became so harsh Thomas Lee Causby had to leave his business.
Under an ancient doctrine, owning land extended to the space above and below the earth. Causby
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In a 5-2 choice by Justice William O. Douglas, the Court finally said that the ancient common law doctrine "has no place in the modern world."However, while the Court did reject the unlimited space on top of and below the earth they mentioned in the common law doctrine, it also mentioned that, "if the landowner is to have full enjoyment of the land, he must have exclusive control of the immediate reaches of the near atmosphere. Without mentioning a limited limit, the Court did state that any flights over his land could be taken as a violation of the Takings Clause if they caused "a direct and immediate interference with the enjoyment and use of the land." In the event of all the damage caused by the really low, frequent, and harming flights over his chicken farm, the Court determined that the government had violated Causby's rights, and he was entitled to…show more content…
And at night the glare from the planes brightly lights up his farm. As a result of the noise and light of these planes, Thomas Lee Causby was forced to give up their chicken business. As many as six to ten of their chickens were killed in one day by flying into the walls from fright.
The total chickens lost in all this destruction caused by the planes was about 150. Production of his business also completely fell through.. The result was the destruction of the use of the property as a commercial chicken farm. Respondents are frequently deprived of their sleep and the family has become nervous and frightened. Although there have been no airplane accidents on respondents' property, there have been several accidents near the airport and close to respondents' place.
This case was argued May 1, 1946 and decided on May 27, 1946. The Court of Claims granted respondents a judgment for the value of property destroyed and damage to their property resulting from the taking of an easement over their property by low-flying military aircraft of the United States, but failed to include in its findings of fact a specific description of the nature or duration of the
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