Did you attend the Stop Eminent Domain Abuse Rally in Downtown Kansas City? There were about fifty people who attended of which 12 have had property taken away from them. At one time in this country there would have been a thousand people at that kind of rally. As was said years ago, " finally when they came for me there was NO one left to protest my imprisonment."
The Supreme Court will be looking a the way that states, counties and cities have abused the concept of eminent domain over the years. Eminent Domain was not to be used for private property to be transferred to another private business. Usually this takes place when one business has more political power than another. The big snake squeezes out the small businessman or homeowner.
The Monday July 30, 2001 issue of The National Law Journal on page A21 has a very interesting article by Gideon Kanner entitled THE DEVELOPMENT SCORE.
The article cites In re Condemnation of 110 Washington St., 767 A.2d 1154 (Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 2001) and 99 Cents Only Stores v. Lancaster Redevelopment Agency, No. CV 00-07572 SVW (AJWx) (C.D. Cal. June 26, 2001)
" delivered an overdue reminder that the power of eminent domain is an attribute of sovereignty, not a commodity to be bartered to private developers"
Henn v. City of Highland Heights, 69 F. Supp.2d 908 (E.D. Ky. 1999) "ruled that property owners challenging the right to take for lack of public use may sue directly in federal court"
The author concludes that "the abuses of redevelopment agencies that misuse the sovereign powers of eminent domain to feather the private nests of municipally well-connected developers, may be coming to an end"
" ........demonstrates both the human cost of the practice and the nationwide scope of the issue."
"........the government, often acting in concert with a private development corporation or other private interests, condemned homes or small businesses so they could be transferred to another party for its purely private benefit."
Watch your own city carefully, the city charter proposal that was defeated had a couple of lines replacing 55 pages in the old charter. The 55 pages spoke about what could and couldn't be done when taking your property.