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Eminent Domain Abuse: City Uses Eminent Domain to seize Property from 103 Year Old Woman

Here's the link:


Pretty sick in my book, taking property from an old lady who can't fight back. 5th amendment requires that all property taken through eminent domain be for public use, but now they are doing it to speculate in real estate because they think they can make a buck selling it to developers.

From the article:

"The desire of the Central Planners for control is once again permitted to outweigh the people’s need for government to make rational decisions that benefit taxpayers and citizens (Of course, the City of Seattle just banned using the term "Citizen"). In this case, a 103-year old lady’s property is slated to be taken “for the greater good.” Yet that “good” is really just the personal aspirations of city planners and officials.

As has been pointed out, the City of Seattle actually has plans to “redevelop” this property and turn it into a parking garage or mixed use development once the Viaduct is gone. Most observers believe that when Seattle’s Big Dig is done and the Viaduct construction is over (assuming this ever happens), this woman’s land will be prime real estate worth far more than what the City of Seattle will pay by seizing it now. This might be true (although the City wants us to believe there is nothing to see here), but the property owner appears to have a plan to donate this property to charity at the maximum value so that her desired charity will benefit"

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In the early 1990s Donald Trump wanted to

buy a woman's ( Vera Coking ) property in Atlantic city and she refused to sell it to him as she didn't want to leave her home of over 30 years. I remember watching an interview with Trump at the time concerning the issue and he was so incredibly arrogant. He was so use to getting what he wanted and buying his way, he came off in a very negative light.

People rooted for the woman to stand her ground and she did. Trump even tried to have the city condemn her property. It took a long time but she refused to give up and eventually she won out. It was big news at the time and she had a huge following as Trump was rightfully seen as a bully. That was back in the day when someone who was considered an underdog gained a lot of support from people.

The Supreme Court ruled in

Kelo v City of New London:

(c) Petitioners’ proposal that the Court adopt a new bright-line rule that economic development does not qualify as a public use is supported by neither precedent nor logic. Promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted governmental function, and there is no principled way of distinguishing it from the other public purposes the Court has recognized. See, e.g., Berman, 348 U.S., at 24. Also rejected is petitioners’ argument that for takings of this kind the Court should require a “reasonable certainty” that the expected public benefits will actually accrue. Such a rule would represent an even greater departure from the Court’s precedent. E.g., Midkiff, 467 U.S., at 242. The disadvantages of a heightened form of review are especially pronounced in this type of case, where orderly implementation of a comprehensive plan requires all interested parties’ legal rights to be established before new construction can commence. The Court declines to second-guess the wisdom of the means the city has selected to effectuate its plan. Berman, 348 U.S., at 26. Pp. 13—20.


The land seized by the City of New London sits vacant to this day.

New London never actually received those taxes. The case's notoriety dampened interest in doing business at the stolen property, and then the economic downturn killed the project. Journalists visiting the scene have found the land to be "barren."

That means the city lost money on the deal: the cost of the legal battle plus the potential tax revenues from homes and businesses forced out and never replaced.


3 of the 5 justices supporting the majority opinion

were appointed by Republicans (Kennedy, Souter, and Stevens).

Which only goes to show

the liberal-conservative paradigm used to describe the members of the Supreme Court is baloney.

scawarren's picture

Well they say she's feisty

Well they say she's feisty and a smart business woman so hopefully she'll fight the city on this!

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain

Apparently she has a lawyer

Apparently she has a lawyer and has decided to sue. Despite the judges we have in our neck of the woods she may have a chance.

scawarren's picture

That's good to hear.

That's good to hear.

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain