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WEEK 14 - Week 14 I Property Law(cont A Rights of Property...

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Week 14 I. Property Law (cont.) A. Rights of Property Owners (cont.) A.1. Government Restrictions (cont.) A.1.a. Eminent Domain A.1.a.i. Taking for public use A.1.a.i.I. For example to build schools or highways, the government may need to take away some private land A.1.a.i.II. See Kelo below A.1.a.ii. Requires payment of just compensation A.1.a.ii.I. Must pay market value of the property taken A.1.a.ii.II. Courts require just compensation prior to taking of the property A.1.a.iii. See Kelo v. New London , Case 49-4 – Most recent Supreme Court case to deal with the issue. Very controversial. Here, the city of New London did a very comprehensive evaluation of its waterfront area and decided to revitalize the area to bring in businesses and tourism. What the city did was take property for just compensation. Some people, however, held out from voluntarily giving up their property. The plaintiff was a woman who had lived in the house since 1918. The problem is that this property will be taken and used by private developers. So, he argument is that the fact that the property is taken and converted into other private property is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court allows it. It says that it is consistent with their precedent to use a broad definition of public use. Conveying title to a private party can still be consistent with the notion of a public use. The question is of how the property will be used afterwards. A.1.a.iii.I. As a result of this decision, every single state in the United States and Congress proposed legislation to overturn this decision. Legislation has not passed in Congress. But, many state statutes have passed hat say that the taking can only occur if the property is transferred to a public entity, not to a private entity. Otherwise eminent domain may not be used. A.1.a.iii.II. Another example: Goldstein v. NYS Urban Development Corporation (not in book, used as an example of application of Kelo opinion) – The Atlantic Yards controversy in Brooklyn, New York (current issue). The area in question was the one that was considered to build a stadium for the Brooklyn Dodgers. That never happened. The current use would be to build a basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets (who would become the Brooklyn Nets). The area is described as being blighted and slum like and that is the justification for taking it from private owners that have it and giving it to new private owners to develop it. After litigation, the Court of Appeals in New York ruled that the transfer was
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consistent with the New York state statute, effectively using the same arguments as Kelo . A.1.a.iv. Important to distinguish from exercise of police power A.1.a.iv.I. Imposition of conditions without the transfer of title to the government. The argument is that in effect there is a taking of property since owner deprived of economic benefit.
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