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M. Hain v State , Arrêt n° 1752 du 12 décembre 2001, Cour de cassation - Troisième chambre civile (publication: Gazette du palais, 31 mai au 1er juin 2002, n° 151-152, Jurisprudence, p. 13-14)

Facts: the plaintiff, M. Hain, was expropriated slots of his land by the State which intervened without his presence. The Chief of the department (the "prefet") did not ask for the authorization of the Departmental Commission in charge of real estate matters. He claimed that the expropriation violated his right to private property guaranteed by article 6(1) of the European Convention and by the French Declaration of human rights of August 26, 1789 inserted in the French Constitution of 1958 . The judge of expropriations refused to grant him relief (decision of the "juge de l'expropriation du département de la Haute-Saône", 5 mai 1999). M. Hain appealed that decision to the Cour de Cassation.

Holding: The Cour de Cassation rejected the claim of the plaintiff.

Reasoning: the expropriation occurred after the implementation on September 1, 1986 of the decree of March 14, 1986 suppressing the obligation for the Prefet to have the authorization of the Departmental Commission in charge of real estate matters before executing an expropriation. Therefore the plaintiff could not claim a violation in that respect. Furthermore, the expropriation had a strong public interest. Therefore the Cour de Cassation did not rule in favor of the plaintiff.

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