There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (09/23/1997)

Property Owners Access to Justice Act of 1997 - Amends the Federal judicial code to provide that whenever a district court has jurisdiction in civil rights cases it shall not abstain from exercising or relinquishing its jurisdiction to a State court in an action where no claim of a violation of a State law, right, or privilege is alleged.

Authorizes the district court, in such cases that cannot be decided without resolution of a significant but unsettled question of State law, to certify such question to the highest appellate court of that State (and after the State appellate court resolves the question certified to it, the district court shall proceed with resolving the merits). Bars the district court from certifying a question of State law unless such question will significantly affect the merits of the injured party's Federal claim and is so unclear and obviously susceptible to a limiting construction as to render premature a decision on the merits of the constitutional or legal issue in the case.

Requires that any claim or action brought to redress the deprivation of a property right or privilege secured by the Constitution be ripe for adjudication by the district courts upon a final decision rendered by any person acting under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or territory of the United States, that causes actual and concrete injury to the party seeking redress.

Provides that any claim brought under provisions regarding the United States as defendant and regarding the jurisdiction of the Court of Federal Claims, that is founded upon a property right or privilege secured by the Constitution but allegedly infringed or taken by the United States, shall be ripe for adjudication upon a final decision rendered by the United States that causes actual and concrete injury to the party seeking redress.

Sets guidelines for what constitutes a "final decision" for purposes of this Act.