By Chris Lutz and Charlie Kearns
On February 10, 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held in Wayside Church v. Van Buren County, 847 F.3d 812 (U.S. 6th Cir. 2017) that the Tax Injunction Act (TIA) and the principle of comity barred federal courts from hearing the taxpayers’ arguments that a Michigan county court’s foreclosure sale of their properties constituted an unconstitutional taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution. On appeal from the US District Court, the Sixth Circuit concluded that the TIA and comity “only allow federal courts to exercise jurisdiction when state courts cannot provide ‘plain, adequate, and complete’ remedies,” and therefore, “only one analysis is required.” Because the taxpayers could bring their suits alleging an unconstitutional taking to state court—a “plain, adequate, and complete remedy”—the federal courts did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter. Wayside Church v. Van Buren County, 847 F. 3d 812 (U.S. 6th Cir. 2017).