DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> PELICANPOST.BLOGSPOT.COM: Big win for private property owners in Ohio: Ohio Supreme Court rejected taking of property through eminent domain.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Big win for private property owners in Ohio: Ohio Supreme Court rejected taking of property through eminent domain.

This is great news for the citizens of Ohio and throughout the United States. It is a victory over unjust "eminent domain" conscription of private property for the economic gain of a private corporation and greedy local government and will serve as an important precedent-setting case and determiner of what legally constitutes "public use," "public good," and "deterioration."

The Court ruled that there has to be a higher threshhold for a determination of "deterioration" of a property, for it is a nebulous and subjective term that can be abused in the condemnation process. As presently used in many states since Kelo, "deterioration" is in the eye of whomever is making a grab for a private individual's property for other than public use and without just cause.

This ruling is also a strong rejection of the notorious Kelo decision that allowed the taking of an 84 year old woman's home of many years---a nice home that was in very good condition---for private economic development that would have a higher tax base.

The ruling against Mrs. Kelo in Connecticut was a travesty. Conversely, the City of Norwood, Ohio, lost their "eminent domain" case against two couples because they didn't follow their state's constitution, they wanted the homes condemned to make way for private economic development, and they claimed "deterioration" when it did not exist (just like in Kelo).

More below and here.
"Ohio Court Rejects Eminent Domain"

"The Ohio Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that economic development isn't a sufficient reason under the state constitution to justify taking homes, putting a halt to a $125 million project of offices, shops and restaurants in a Cincinnati suburb that officials said would create jobs and add tax revenue.

The case was the first challenge of property rights laws to reach a state high court since the U.S. Supreme Court last summer allowed municipalities to seize homes for use by a private developer...

Property rights' advocates, business groups and backers of city planning were watching the Ohio case because of the precedent it could set. The ruling comes a year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in a case from New London, Conn., that cities can take land for shopping malls or other private development...

In the ruling, O'Connor said cities may consider economic benefits but that courts deciding such cases in the future must "apply heightened scrutiny" to assure private citizens' property rights.
Targeting property because it is in a deteriorating area also is unconstitutional because the term is too vague and requires speculation, the court found...

"There are now 28 states that have taken legislative steps to protect owners more after that decision, and this case is the next movement in that trend... other courts are going to begin rejecting that terrible decision..."

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