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Month: September 2006

September 30, 2006

More on California's Mealy-Mouthed Eminent Domain Reform

by Timothy Sandefur Prof. Ilya Somin has some thoughts on the new California laws, and points out that SB 1650, which I said might have some actual teeth in it, probably isn't even as protective as I suggested. And at the Orange County Register's blog, Steven Greenhut, author of Abuse of Power: How Government Misuses ...

September 29, 2006

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Mealy-Mouthed Property Rights Protection (Part 5 of 5)

by Timothy Sandefur Finally, SB 1809 (Machado), the fifth and final eminent domain bill signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger today, would add a truly meaningless bureaucratic disclosure requirement to current eminent domain law. It would require a redevelopment agency to file with the county recorder a document which would be "required to contain a p ...

September 29, 2006

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Mealy-Mouthed Property Rights Protection (Part 4 of 5)

by Timothy Sandefur SB 1650 (by Sen. Kehoe) would limit the government's power to change the use to which condemned property is taken. Not long ago, there was a notorious case in which Los Angeles seized land for an animal shelter, but then changed its mind and re-sold the land to a private owner. This ...

September 29, 2006

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Mealy-Mouthed Property Rights Protection (Part 3 of 5)

by Timothy Sandefur SB 1210 (by Senator Tom Torlakson of Antioch) requires the government to pay a person's attorney's fees in cases where the court finds that the government failed to offer a property owner a "reasonable" amount of money for his or her land. This seldom happens, because the definition of "reasonable" is ...

September 29, 2006

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Mealy-Mouthed Property Rights Protection (Part 2 of 5)

by Timothy Sandefur SB 1206, also by Sen. Kehoe, purports to narrow the statutory definition of "blight." This is important, because as I've often noted, California's legal definition of "blight" is so vague that virtually any property can be declared "blighted" and seized through eminent domain. Unfortunately, ...

September 29, 2006

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Mealy-Mouthed Property Rights Protection (Part 1 of 5)

by Timothy Sandefur Today, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed five bills into law, which purport to protect Californians against the abuse of eminent domain. While any new protection for California's abused property owners is certainly welcome, these bills merely add minor technical details to procedural rules surrounding eminent doma ...

September 28, 2006

Bob Blue Gets To Keep His Property

by Timothy Sandefur I'm delighted to report that Bob Blue, owner of the Bernard Luggage Store at the corner of Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood, California, is going to be allowed to keep his property after all. The 70 year old luggage store was being targeted for seizure by eminent domain so that the city ...

September 27, 2006

"House rejects bill opening federal court access to seized property cases"

by Steven Geoffrey Gieseler The Private Property Rights Implementation Act of 2006 failed to garner the 2/3 majority necessary to proceed toward passage.  The bill would have made it easer for people whose property has been taken by state or local governments to seek redress in federal court.  The vote broke down largely along party ...

September 27, 2006

Idaho City Seeks to "Pre-empt" Ballot Initiative

Sun Valley, Idaho is stepping up efforts to restrict the use of private property, in anticipation of voter approval of a law that would require compensation in such situations. ...

September 26, 2006

Foes of Land Takings Widen Aim

by Timothy Sandefur Laura Oppenheimer of The Oregonian files this story about Measure 39, an Oregon ballot initiative which would prohibit the abuse of eminent domain. Oppenheimer notes that planners' biggest beef with Measure 39 isn't the economic development aspect. It's an obscure provision: Governments would pay landowners' cour ...

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