CITY OF DUBLIN, OHIO; DANA MCDANIEL, City
Manager of Dublin, Ohio, Individually and in his
| 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.
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.