NFIB Supports Property Rights at Highest Court on Behalf of Small Business

Date: August 17, 2022

Across the country, the NFIB Small Business Legal Center is involved in dozens of court cases to protect the rights of small businesses. In August, the Legal Center weighed in at the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the property rights of small businesses.

Wilkins v. United States.

NFIB has filed an amicus brief in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the Quiet Title Act (QTA), a law, which parties can use as a mechanism to resolve property disputes. The case asks whether the statute of limitations in the QTA is a jurisdictional requirement or a claim-processing rule. A claim-processing rule gives parties, including small businesses, more leeway and leniency in the litigation process.

NFIB argues the Act’s statute of limitations does not meet the Court’s high bar to be jurisdictional. “This case will impact property owners nationwide, including small business property owners,” said Beth Milito, the Legal Center’s Acting Executive Director. “With property ownership comes several distinct rights, which this case threatens to curtail. Small businesses, in particular, are at a disadvantage in property disputes against the government. NFIB urges the Supreme Court to reverse the lower court’s decision.”

The NFIB brief argues three main points:

  1. The text of the QTA’s statute of limitations does not meet the high bar to be a jurisdictional requirement.
  2. The Supreme Court’s recent decisions have held jurisdictional rules to a strict standard, one that the QTA’s statute of limitations does not meet.
  3. The Court should protect the right to property, and in cases where the government and private property owners are in dispute, the court should render close calls in favor of private property owners.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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