Skip to comments.U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Eminent Extortion Case for Review
Posted on 12/20/2006 6:59:54 PM PST by JTN
Developer Demanded $800,000 or Village Would Take Property; Property Owners Refused, Village Condemned Land Next Day
Arlington, VaA federal court has now approved an extortion scheme using eminent domain under last years Kelo decision. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the rulings, developers may threaten property owners, Your money or your land.
Think this is an overstatement?
Consider what is happening right now in Port Chester, N.Y., to entrepreneur Bart Didden and his business partner, whose case will be considered for review by the U.S. Supreme Court on January 5, 2007.
With the blessing of officials from the Village of Port Chester, the Villages chosen developer approached Didden and his partner with an offer they couldnt refuse. Because Didden planned to build a CVS on his propertyland the developer coveted for a Walgreensthe developer demanded $800,000 from Didden to make him go away or ordered Didden to give him an unearned 50 percent stake in the CVS development. If Didden refused, the developer would have the Village of Port Chester condemn the land for his private use. Didden rejected the bold-faced extortion. The very next day the Village of Port Chester condemned Diddens property through eminent domain so it could hand it over to the developer who made the threat.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this extortion under last years Kelo eminent domain decision. The court ruled that because this is taking place in a redevelopment zone they couldnt stop what the Village is doing.
Essentially, the courts have ruled Kelo turns any redevelopment zone into a Constitution-free zone for property owners confronted by politically connected developers, said Dana Berliner, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, which represents Didden and argued on behalf of the Kelo property owners. We want the Supreme Court to rule that the Constitution does not permit governments or citizens acting on their behalf to demand money in exchange for allowing property owners to keep what is rightfully theirs. The very fact that we have to ask the highest court in the land for such a ruling underscores how precarious and threatening things are getting for ordinary American landowners.
My case is about extortion through the abuse of eminent domain; it is about payoffs and government run amok, said Didden. It took me years of hard work to buy that property, pay off my mortgages and really feel like I own it. How dare the Village of Port Chester and this developer threaten me in this way. I want to see integrity restored to the governmental process of exercising eminent domain. There is no integrity here. Unless the Supreme Court takes up my case, I fear for anyone else who owns a piece of property not just in Port Chester, but anywhere a politically connected developer is eyeing it.
For now, the property remains vacant.
Didden expressed universal disappointment with the government officials who are charged with the duty of protecting his rights. What really surprised me about this whole ordeal was the total lack of concern my situation earned from the Village politicians, to the County District Attorneys office, all the way into the federal courts. A private citizen using the governments power is extorting me. And the government that was supposed to protect my rights is nowhere to be found. If anything, it is making this extortion possible. It is an outrage.
I've sometimes thought in the past that the libertarian rhetoric you sometimes hear about the government basically being the legalized mafia was over the top. Now, not so much. This is friggin' outrageous.
It's not that the government is a legalized mafia, it's that the line between the illegal mafia and the government is so blurred.
" Don't people often end up in dumpsters over stuff like this?"
Yes, and that may be the ultimate answer... Anytime you back someone into a corner and deny them justice, you take that risk.
Kelo will go down in history as being one of the all-time worst SCOTUS decisions, on scale with "Dread-Scott."
U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Eminent Extortion Case for Review..
Old Honest Abe's Legacy?
The USSC will not rule for him in this case...no matter how distasteful it may be. To do so would be to admit they were wrong on Kelo and that won't happen.
Good Lord, even the nuts at DU thought it was an outrage.
Yer gonna love this. It'll make your blood boil.
"don't people often end up in dumpsters over stuff like this?"<p.Not to mention in the trunks of old Caddies too.
Looks like the mob will be making a comeback...
...as there are going to be a lot of small people out there needing justice - or in other words, a 'favor'.
Kinda how the Italian mob started in the first place, come to think about it.
It is not the same court that ruled on Kelo, and they have had a chance to see how governments have abused their ruling. I think this will not stand.
Hey we got a shot at correcting the most despictable law since Row Wade, Good Lord, even the nuts at DU thought it was an outrage.
1. Don't hold your breath..
2. Sometimes my wife agrees with me..
Rather like a zombie under remote control.
I suspect Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, will want to overturn at least this aspect of Kelo. Not sure about Kennedy. Soder and Ginsburg are hopeless cases.
Marsh I remember going over to DU, after the ruling and a few of them were blaming the conservatives until they were informed that it was Ginsburg and crew who got this thing through.
Yep. But then they just popped an extra Paxil and passed out on the couch.