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CHKRS, LLC,
Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
CITY OF DUBLIN, OHIO; DANA MCDANIEL, City Manager of Dublin, Ohio, Individually and in his official capacity,
Defendants-Appellees.
   No. 20-3435
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Ohio at Columbus.
No. 2:18-cv-01366—Kimberly A. Jolson, Magistrate Judge.
Argued: December 1, 2020
Decided and Filed: January 4, 2021
Before: DAUGHTREY, NALBANDIAN, and MURPHY, Circuit Judges.


_________________________
OPINION
_________________________

MURPHY, Circuit Judge. To establish the “standing” required for jurisdiction under Article III of the Constitution, plaintiffs must allege the “invasion of a legally protected interest.” Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540, 1548 (2016) (citation omitted). To establish a violation of the Takings Clause on the merits, plaintiffs must similarly prove that the government has taken a “cognizable” property interest. Coal. for Gov’t Procurement v. Fed. Prison Indus., Inc., 365 F.3d 435, 481 (6th Cir. 2004). Given these overlapping requirements for jurisdiction and the merits, what happens if a plaintiff fails to prove the required property interest? Does it show the lack of the “legally protected” interest necessary for jurisdiction? Or does it instead show the lack of a “cognizable” interest necessary for the merits of the takings claim?

This case implicates these questions. According to the complaint of CHKRS, LLC, the City of Dublin violated the Takings Clause when it tore out a property’s driveway and replaced it with a defective driveway without paying compensation. CHKRS had a lease interest in the property at the time and now owns it outright. The district court nevertheless held that CHKRS failed to establish Article III standing. The court reasoned that issue preclusion barred CHKRS from asserting any protectable interest in the property because state courts had already found that it lacked such an interest. Yet Article III standing was not the correct doctrine. As long as a plaintiff has asserted a colorable legal claim (and has met standing’s other elements), the plaintiff has satisfied Article III and the court may resolve the claim on its merits. And here, CHKRS has established its standing by alleging a colorable interest in the property for its takings claim. The district court misread Ohio issue-preclusion law in reaching the contrary result. We thus reverse the district court’s standing-based dismissal of CHKRS’s takings claim, but we affirm the court’s dismissal of CHKRS’s due-process claims on separate forfeiture grounds.