If any of you out there are politically active in your home areas, this is something you might want to explore.
My husband and I are involved with a couple facing an eminent domain action to take their property for public use. However, the given reasons are specious, at best, and outright lies at worst. There are other very nearby areas that would serve their stated purpose as well or better, as the land is already clear, and would not require demolition of buildings.
The part that is so galling is this: as the law on the matter now reads, there is no winning this battle. You can hire an attorney (and they have--one who specializes in eminent domain law), but in the end, this has an effect only on the amount of money you can get as compensation for the property.
The only way around this, and to get the agency to back down is by a massive public outcry, and (this is our angle we think we can win) showing illegal procedure in the matter.
If you reject the offer of the agency putting forth the action, (in this case, the city), it doesn't matter. They can still give you 90 days notice to vacate, and come in and take your land and property anyway.
THIS IS JUST PLAIN WRONG AND CRUEL!!
In the end, there is no getting around the fact that eminent domain is theft, plain and simple. No matter how they want to dress it up with fancy legalese, it is still theft! Because anyone who has been on earth for longer than a year or few, knows darned will that the 'fair market value' the property owners are offered, is anything but! It in no way allows them to obtain any other comparable property!
This is a very bad law, and one that needs to be changed!! Who's willing to write/call/buttonhole your representatives about this??
Eminent domain always creates this reaction. It is also usually futile to fight. The only successful eminent domain fights I've witnessed, and I haven't witnessed many, was from a man who was able to outspend the local governance in defense while at the same time making his story VERY public to put pressure on thie governance to back down.
During the final meeting on the subject, where the local governance announced they would stop the process on this man's property, the elected official stated she was VERY unhappy that this man was able to keep his property where someone less rich would have lost it due to not being able to cause the government extreme costs via legal delays.
The video of this final meeting is on youtube, what do you think? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux40N4cETeQ
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