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Controversial Eminent Domain Cases


Eminent domain powers come from laws appearing in the United States Constitution, state constitutions, federal laws, state laws and local laws. Specific nuances of eminent domain powers are clarified through court rulings, including decisions by the United States Supreme Court and state lower courts and supreme courts.

If eminent domain threatens your property, you may want to know whether legal precedents through court rulings may have an impact on your case. We will briefly examine a notable case that affected many subsequent applications of eminent domain. Talk to an attorney to determine whether other notable cases are relevant to your property rights concerns.

Kelo V. City of New London

One of the most controversial eminent domain court cases of our times was Kelo v. City of New London, which resulted in a finding by the United States Supreme Court in June, 2005. According to this case, the government’s taking of private property from one private owner to give to another as part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan constituted “public use.”

The court held that the general benefits to the community of the planned private use were in the public interest. The preceding Connecticut Supreme Court had specified that this definition of “public use” included expected jobs, taxes and urban revitalization.

Dissenting justices expressed fear that this overreaching definition of public use could result in further domination of rich developers over poorer residents and business people in urban areas.

Numerous state legislatures and referendums responded to this U.S. Supreme Court ruling with state laws that reacted to it or further defined “public use” in those states. California’s Proposition 99 passed in the June 2008 election, amended the state constitution to prohibit “state and local governments from using eminent domain to acquire an owner-occupied residence [if the owner has occupied the residence for at least one year], as defined, for conveyance to a private person or business entity.”

Consult With A Recognized Eminent Domain Lawyer

John Peterson’s work has been featured in Forbes magazine and on National Public Radio (NPR), to name a couple of examples of media recognition of Peterson Law Group. We are prepared to discuss your property rights matter in light of notable, relevant court cases as well as pertinent local, state and federal laws. Call (213) 236-9720 or (949) 955-0127 to set up a case evaluation regarding your Los Angeles area eminent domain dispute, or property rights issue anywhere in California.

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