By Andrew Chung
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday narrowed the rights of property owners in disputes with the government in a case involving a family's bid to sell a vacant lot in Wisconsin on the picturesque St. Croix River.
The justices, in a 5-3 ruling, upheld the use of zoning regulations by Wisconsin to prevent members of the Murr family from selling the lot because the family also owned an adjoining parcel of land.
The justices decided that government officials can combine separate parcels of private land in determining whether public officials have effectively taken private property through zoning laws and must pay compensation. The ruling could make it harder for property owners to prove compensation claims.
(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)