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theearthisround Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 08:55 PM
Original message
Shocking New Developments In Supreme Court vs. Homeowners Case
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/june2005/240605new...

(snip)
Cristofaro's family have lived in New London for forty two years and the city had already previously seized his first home by imminent domain in 1971.

Cristofaro related a series of actions by local government officials and their hired New London Development Corporation thugs that amount to nothing less than outright intimidation, harassment and extortion.

These include;

- An insulting offer of $60,000 from the government on a home worth $215,000.

- Unannounced visits to Cristofaro's elderly parent's home demanding they sign a contract to hand over their property.

- Intimidating and harassing phone calls at all hours of the day.

- Parking bulldozers and wrecking balls outside the houses pointing at the property with threats of "your house is next."

- Revving the engines of the bulldozers outside the houses in the early morning hours of the morning.

- Cristofaro's mother becoming distraught and suffering a heart attack after being served with condemnation papers that said she no longer owned her property and had ninety days to leave.

- A death bed plea from a 93-year-old resident begging "what about my house, what about my house?" The man had been living in his home for 80 years. The contractors would park construction vehicles on his property, make his house literally shake and would, Waco-style, shine bright floodlights into his home as his blind wife cowered in fear.

- A threat to charge residents back rent if they lost the case, effectively meaning the homeowners will have to pay the city to be kicked out of their own homes. One resident, William von Winkle (pictured above), would owe the city $200,000 in back rent.

....
(much more)
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/june2005/240605new...
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xultar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. DAYUM - Now that's some family valuez!
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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. This is thuggery.
And the work is EMINENT, forchrissakes.
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. and the word would be "word"
Edited on Fri Jun-24-05 09:12 PM by Raster
and the other word, thuggery is an apt description. They should be forced to pay HIGH fair value for all property seized. Further, the supremes that acquiesced to this bullshit ought to be horsewhipped.
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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Sorry.
Mine was a simple bit of keyboard dyslexia. The switching of imminent for eminent is not. But I also assume that you copied and pasted the contents of the post. I've seen it used that way more often than not since the SC decision.
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Jakey Donating Member (314 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
40. "Imminent"
works quite nicely in this case.
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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. Welcome to DU!
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theearthisround Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thanks! Happy to be here!
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
6. Really, you ought to take that with a grain of salt.
For one, the lawyer for these people said that they were offerred in the low one hundred thousands.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/24/national/24newlondon....

But then again, it was never about the money, was it?
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Nancy Waterman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. I do not understand why the liberal justices voted for this
Even if it were justified in this case, which is not at all clear, especially from this
article, it is sure to be abused by the corporations.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #8
18. Because they really aren't activist judges.
If you read the alternatives, the dissents wanted the court to put itself in the position of deciding how much public interest is enough and to reevaluate the entire project.

The constitution doesn't make the courts the arbiter of the public interest. If it isn't prohibited, then the recorse is with elected officials or state constitutions.

The dissents are pushing for an entirely invented class of property rights, not found in the constitution, that hamstrings all government regulation. They want a court to look at a government's action that takes, regulates or affects property and say....no, there is an unwritten, inherent and inalienable right of a property owner to have the full, unfettered value of his property.

If you look at Thomas's dissent, you will note that his parade of horribles isn't private development, but public: using eminent domain to build highways, public housing, and other public uses that everyone accepts as legal. He sees them as bad and deserving of control just as much and maybe more than the new london case. His radical side is coming out with this property stuff.
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #8
21. There ARE no 'liberals' on the Supreme Court. Just a few that are
Less conservative than others in their interpretation of the Constitution and the law.

I have not seen any explanation for their ruling in this case that makes any sense at all.

The reason that cities and states are in such bad shape is due to Republican policies which have stripped their budgets.
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Gloria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Cristofaro said he has his current home for sale at $150,000
(3rd one, in an area that he feels is next up for this crap) and he just wants to sell and get out while he still can.

Mixup? Same reference?
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Not inconsistent.
I didn't say his house was worth in the low one hundred K. I said he was offered it, which is really different from the story that the offer was 60k. If the city had moved up from sixty, he left it out to make a better story. That's pretty much what the entire parade of horribles seems to be, imo.

I don't know if there ever was a judgment as to the amount of compensation for the home.
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Gloria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
9. I heard this interview live via shortwave.....even Alex Jones was
taken aback. Apparently, although he had known the case for the last couple of years, he didn't know all the details Cristofaro delivered today...
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
10. Absolutely outrageous! Bet this scheme was cooked up by the
same folke who want to rob Social Security or their evil clones.Where is the press in all of this story? Bought by those who will profit the most!
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
12. Welcome to Bush's America. If this is what liberal SC judges can do
What will our future conservative SC do...besides repeal R vs W?
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #12
25. If this is what liberal Supremes do, then what's the difference?
I don't get it. How could the libs be for this piracy, and the conservatives against it? When there's money on the table, local governments can be more corrupt than regional or national governments. Way more. And now they have the power to take unblighted property and give it to developers or corporations who claim they can raise the tax base. Gee, I wonder if there will be any under-the-table influence in future cases.

HOW COULD THE LIB JUDGES BE SUCH DOPES?

This ruling sends a chill down my spine.

Peace.
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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. The more I understand of it...
...after reading the ruling, is that the supposedly "liberal" justices are putting this back on the "local" entities (state's rights, etc.). Not that it seems that way right now...

I think the community in question could reclaim their governing body based on a campaign that points out that certain members were "for" taking away property rights of individual property owners. That is what I would do as a citizen. I think you'll see a massive turnover of representatives come election day...

Of course, I still disagree with the liberal members of the SC on this one, even knowing that eminent domain has existed just about forever. That said, what is done is done...how to fight on is the next stage of the journey, methinks.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
13. SOLUTION = vote in new local and state reps who will
change the way business is done.

the court decision says local jurisdictions can legally do this kind of thing (at least the eminent domain part, not the harrassment). The problem is that your local, county, and state laws allow it to happen.

therefore the solution is to elect local, county, and state representatives who will CHANGE THE LOCAL LAWS.

If the local laws prohibit this kind of eminent domain crap, it will not happen, with or without the supremes court.

Msongs
www.msongs.com/political-shirts.htm
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
27. The rich can grease enough of the officials to get their way (nt)
nt
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
15. BTW we are fighting a similar event in our neighborhood - >
we are facing a similar situation here, the local University of California campus wants to take locals' houses away from them to create some kind of transportation thing. our entire neighborhood is fighting this at the local and state level. the state whores (democrats BTW) are changing the law to say nice houses in a good neighborhood can be declared "blighted"anad therefore bulldozed by the prostitutes for the state, or any business entity pimping with the state.

Msongs
www.msongs.com/political-shirts.htm
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #15
38. You will have a harder time, even without this hideous ruling
The New London decision says, in essence, that the state can take your land without your say so, pay you whatever they claim is the value (how can one assign a value to memories???) and give it to PRIVATE (as in Wal Mart, Ugly Mall, or NIMBY private industry) entities for development by PROFITEERS.

Eminent domain has always been an easier road for public and community projects, like parks, schools, transportation assets, and the most common, the widening of roads, where they steal half your front lawn--no blighting needed in those cases, though blight makes the process easier. The prevailing thing is the "public good."

In this case, they are letting a bunch of private businessmen sell a bill of goods to corrupt politicians, and steal the homes out from under people. I find the whole thing disgusting, and it makes me not want to even travel through CT, never mind live there. Of course, this ruling screws every homeowner in every state, and we are no longer safe in our persons or property. It is a sad day in the USA, that is for sure.
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Gyre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
16. That's nauseating.
The People in this country are going to snap at some point. My advice is for all you good liberals to be ready.

Gyre
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
17. Great, "We the People" can use that precedent to offer $60 billion for
a multinational corporation worth $215 billion and use the corporation for the public good like providing jobs for the needy.

To copy a famous statesman, "Bring them on". :hi:
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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
19. Welcome to the NeoCon Reich. Thanks, SCOTUS...you should be so...
...proud of yourselves.
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LiberallyInclined Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. ummm...you might want to check how the vote on the decision came down-
it was the left side of the bench- just like in the med mj case, that fucked "we the people" over...and over.
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Radio_Silence Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #19
34. I don't think you can blame this on the neocons...
as comforting as that may be for you. This decision was handed down based on the majority opinions of the left leaning members of the court. Blame them.

Also, why all the concern in the first place? Isn't this what you want - government control over every aspect of our lives? I mean you already want the government to take care of your education, health care, safety, welfare etc. Why not let them have final say over where you can and cannot live? Come on, it's for the collective good! The state can generate more tax revenue to fund more socialist programs. Government knows what's best for us don't they? Think of the children!

And it just cracks me up about all of the bitching and moaning about this ruling being unconstitutional. When did that ever matter to the left? Dems have certainly never cared about 2A. Why should you start caring now? After all, the constitution is a "living" document that can be interpreted however one chooses. Just prefer to think of it as Ginsburg and company decided to expand on the outdated and incomplete idea of eminent domain. But I guess much like the Republicans and their trampling of the 4th, you guys prefer to pick and choose what you think is important.

Good luck to those who own property in the not so elite parts of the major cities. Maybe your govt masters will cut you a decent check (paid for by the tax payer) so you can move to comparable govt approved slave quarters.

You reap what you sow.

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eleonora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 01:29 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. yeah yeah...right
"And it just cracks me up about all of the bitching and moaning about this ruling being unconstitutional. When did that ever matter to the left?"

This is the stupidest comment I read today.

If Wal-mart decides to take my home, this is NOT for the collective good but for Wal-Mart's own profits. Corporations have always sought out politicians to serve their own greediness. This is just another example. This government's unconstitutional policies are reflecting on all branches. Those judges are *not* liberal. They are painted that way because they tend to lean more toward the left than the extreme right.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #34
42. Hi Radio_Silence!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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Sugarbleus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
22. Holy Cow...heavy article...thanks for posting
The info I read at prisonplanet is mind boggling. Infuriates me to no end. I am a housing advocate. There is so little affordable housing as it is. Several people/families crammed into a substandard dwelling; HUD funding being cut and rearranged, adult children living with family members, homelessness, people living in Motels. The cost's of renting aside from buying are ASTRONIMICAL ie: IMPOSSIBLE

Instead of upgrading a run down neighborhood in order to keep people housed, they bulldoze it. Just perfect :grr:

Of course, as per the article, confiscating property from others for a profit based motive CAN happen to NON BLIGHTED areas now. Ya just have to be living in a peachy area that someone else WANTS.

What a catastrophy........
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creeksneakers2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
23. I can't come up with a better definition of public use
Neither could the court. The court followed the law. The results are terrible.

I remember an old woman having her house condemned for an economic project in my city. She said, "All they gave me was $7,000. Where am I supposed to find another house for $7,000?" The people from blighted areas are those who are least likely to have anywhere else to go. I noticed O'Connor believed it was OK for government to condemn "blighted areas" but not better neighborhoods. A different set of rights for the poor?

My city was failing at the time. Economic development brought the city back.

The best solution to this that I can think of is for states to pass laws that mandate payment of replacement value for property, rather than just what the market will offer.
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Public use is when the public owns the land and the public
owns what is built on it.

Private use is when a corporation or real estate developer gets ownership of the land or builidings.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
24. I would not go peacefully.
I would rather die than let those bastard steal my land.
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
28. Horrible. I wonder if this will be painted as a "it's the liberal judges'
fault" by the GOP. Sure sounds like a natural.
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eleonora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #28
36. many repubs are already blaming it on the 'liberals'
it's everywhere I turn to in blogs.
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Robert Oak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
29. dolan's unscripted on CNN tomorrow
is going to do this their whole show.

What an bizarre nightmare...what happened how could conservative
justices do right and the liberals screw up to this degree?

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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
31. Imminent domain
is supposed to be for the commoweal or good of the people. I guess it is now for Corporations.
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Dee625 Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
32. My in-laws narrowly escaped losing their home
The state was going to take it to widen a road.
Widening a road should be a good thing right? Well, the reason it needed widened was because this small residential area outside of the city was picked (due to available land and proximity to a proliferating residential area that this road does not lead to) to house a new WalMart superstore. So we need to widen the road to WalMart. No other reason.

Anyway, after much anxiety over losing the house they literally built with their own hands 50 years ago, there emerged a loophole.

Those Federally funded apartments that were built next to them about 10 years ago, which they always considered a nuisance out there in the country, couldn't be taken by the state. It seems the state cannot use eminent domain on federal property. Home saved.

It is indeed very scary that the home you've worked most of your life for can just be taken because someone else wants it
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siliconefreak Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-05 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
33. NOW / PBS story about this
For those of you in the San Francisco area, NOW on PBS is doing a story about this tonight. It's on at 10pm (Channel 9).
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libodem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
35. So am I to understand this was a 'liberal' decision?
I'm very against this. I would think it would be conservatives standing up for what ever the corporations want. I'm confused. I didn't think the supreme court had any liberal judges . I thought it was loaded with conservatives.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
39. see this thread
It may clear up some of the confusion posters on this thread have:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


Cher
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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
41. theearthisround
Per DU copyright rules
please post only four
paragraphs from the
copyrighted news source.


Thank you.


DU Moderator
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
43. Now this is worth some ammo and some American lives!
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yorkiemommie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-25-05 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
44. i know my local mayor

and the developers in SoCal must have broken out the Dom Perignon last night.
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genieroze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-26-05 02:20 AM
Response to Original message
45. SCOTUS = DIRTBAGS
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