January 13, 2020 | Property Rights
Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Mandating Comprehensive Disclosure and Transparency Requirements for Civil Asset Forfeiture
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation (S1963) mandating comprehensive disclosure and transparency requirements for the system of civil asset forfeiture.
“New Jersey law enforcement agencies currently have no permanent statutory requirement to disclose civil asset forfeitures,” said Governor Murphy. “This legislation would boost confidence in our justice system by requiring county prosecutors to track and report data on this practice. Allowing the public to understand how assets are being seized, where seized funds go, and where forfeited property is going is a huge step forward for transparency and accountability.”...
January 6, 2020 | Property Rights
Lawmakers Consider Taking On Parole, Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform In 2020
It’s no secret West Virginia lawmakers are concerned about the state’s large incarcerated population. The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety reports there are 5,300 people occupying the state’s 11 at-capacity prison facilities, and 4,980 people occupying its 10 regional jails, which on Monday were 19% overcapacity...
December 31, 2019 | Property Rights
From noisy birds to holograms, eight curious property rights debates in 2019
FIGHTS over property rights extended to pavements, space, the sea, data, dead people's images, and even noises and smells in 2019, with governments scrambling to define and legislate emerging areas of concern.
At the same time, deadly conflicts raged over land and water with at least 108 people killed trying to protect land from industries in 23 nations from January to November compared to 91 a year ago, said human rights advocacy group PAN Asia-Pacific...
December 10, 2019 | Property Rights
New Jersey may make it harder for police to keep property they take from you
New Jersey wants to make it more difficult for police and prosecutors to keep cash and property seized from people they suspect used the property in a crime.
Some experts, however, don't think the new legislation will fully solve the problem, amid a system that creates a perverse incentive for police to collect proceeds to fund their departments. Sponsors, meanwhile, say they are open to suggestions and that the bill will improve upon New Jersey's status quo...
November 24, 2019 | Property Rights
China plans stronger protections for intellectual property rights
China said on Sunday it would seek to improve protections for intellectual property rights, including raising the upper limits for compensation for rights infringements.
An opinion document released by the State Council and Communist Party’s Central Office on Sunday evening called for a strengthening of protections through both the civil and criminal justice systems and an effective enforcement of penalties...
November 13, 2019 | Property Rights
Downingtown Area School District votes to start eminent domain process of buying up acres of private property
The Downingtown Area School District voted to start the eminent domain process at a school board meeting Wednesday night. The decision has left families and business owners upset.
A big six-bedroom Victorian in Downingtown seems a little empty these days because the Gilliland family stopped accepting foster children. They had no choice when they got a registered letter in the mail from the Downingtown Area School District telling the family the district wants their home...
November 7, 2019 | Property Rights
Libertarian law firm asks SCOTUS to consider Colorado eminent domain case
A libertarian public interest law firm is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to end what it says is an abusive eminent domain practice in Colorado.
The Arlington, Virg.-based Institute for Justice filed a petition with the court Thursday asking it to review a Colorado Supreme Court ruling and decide if private companies can use eminent domain for their own benefit...
October 30, 2019 | Property Rights
Lead in NJ water: The murky problem between property rights and replacing pipes
As New Jersey's political leaders look to address the pervasive problem of lead in water, it's not just the $2 billion price tag that presents a challenge to eliminating the threat in old pipes.
Local pipe replacement efforts can be hampered by unreachable landlords or owners unwilling to allow access to their property, a fight that could turn into a legal battle, experts say...
October 15, 2019 | Property Rights
Civil asset forfeiture in South Carolina is unconstitutional, circuit court judge rules
A South Carolina circuit court judge in Horry County has ruled the state's civil asset forfeiture law unconstitutional, in violation of the U.S. Constitution's Fourth, Fifth and 14th amendments.
While the decision by 15th Circuit Court Judge Steven H. John doesn't set precedent beyond his courtroom, it could set the table for a state appellate court to determine whether South Carolina needs to enact reforms to its law...
October 8, 2019 | Property Rights
Richland widow suing city for right to renovate home
A homeowner is taking on the city of Richland, suing the city for the right to renovate the home she's lived in 42 years.
Linda Cameron says she loves her one bedroom, one bathroom house but now it's time to expand.
"The house is bought and paid for," she explains. "Don't I have the right to have an extra bathroom, an extra bedroom and a bigger closet? I mean I don't think that's too much to ask."...
September 28, 2019 | Property Rights
Eminent domain process for Keystone XL pipeline begins in Nebraska
LINCOLN — Jeanne Crumly said she got a “gut punch” Friday morning — notification that she was being formally sued to obtain right of way across her Holt County farm for the Keystone XL pipeline.
She pledged to fight the eminent domain action.
Court records indicate that TC Energy, formerly TransCanada, has filed at least 90 lawsuits since Sept. 20 asking courts across Nebraska to assign appraisers to determine the cost of obtaining right of way for the 36-inch crude oil pipeline. It is the first step in obtaining right of way via eminent domain, the legal process that allows the taking of property for public purposes, and a first step toward allowing construction...
September 24, 2019 | Property Rights
Mesa wants to take land through eminent domain. Owner says he’s being shorted
The Mesa City Council approved Monday for the city to acquire eight acres of land, likely through eminent domain, to construct a new public safety facility for police and fire departments.
Eminent domain is a government’s right to seize private property for public use if necessary, while paying the original owner “just compensation.”...
September 17, 2019 | Property Rights
City of Savannah uses eminent domain to fight blight
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The city of Savannah continues to tackle blight issues.
On Tuesday, Sept. 17, the city and several other partners will break ground on the first home being built on blight property through eminent domain, a court process which allows a municipality to buy a blighted property.
The eminent domain process wasn’t an option for city leaders until recently, and now, all eyes will be on West Savannah as the city prepares to build a new home thanks to eminent domain...
September 11, 2019 | Property Rights
Watchdog says it will probe Trump’s efforts to get private land to build wall
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) told Senate Democrats it will probe the Trump administration’s efforts to use eminent domain to acquire land to build the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
“GAO accepts your request as work that is within the scope of its authority. At the current time we anticipate that staff with the required skills will be available to initiate an engagement in about three months,” Orice Williams Brown, the managing editor for congressional relations at GAO, wrote in a letter to Senate Democrats...
September 4, 2019 | Property Rights
Harrisburg landowners outraged at eminent domain compensation
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Former landowners are up in arms over eminent domain issues amid construction of the new federal courthouse.
Fred Jackson says his family didn’t receive fair market value during land seizures for the Northern Gateway Project, the project to widen North Seventh Street and ease traffic to the future courthouse and State Archives Building...
August 27, 2019 | Property Rights
Harrisburg takes over public works property via eminent domain for $2.2 million
The city of Harrisburg filed court documents this month to take over the former Brenner auto dealership on Paxton Street, which has served as the city’s public works building since late 2013.
The city filed “declaration of taking” paperwork in the Court of Common Pleas Friday to take the property via eminent domain in exchange for $2.2 million, which is the amount the city calculated as fair compensation after hiring an appraiser...
August 14, 2019 | Property Rights
Judge Attacks “Kafkaesque Regime” That Lets Pipeline Companies Seize Land With Eminent Domain
In an opinion that referenced Dante Alighieri, Franz Kafka, and If You Give a Mouse A Cookie, a federal judge blasted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for creating a “seemingly endless administrative limbo” that traps property owners who want to protect their land from natural-gas pipelines. The case, Allegheny Defense Project v. FERC, centers around Michelle and Gary Erb, who were forced to sell their land in rustic, southeastern Pennsylvania to Transco, in order to clear the way for the company’s Atlantic Sunrise Project, a 200-mile pipeline that connects to the gas-rich Marcellus Shale...
August 8, 2019 | Property Rights
Sandy Springs paying $862K to settle eminent domain suit
Sandy Springs has agreed to pay an insurance agent $862,500 to settle a lawsuit arising from the city’s condemnation of his downtown office building last year...
August 3, 2019 | Property Rights
Should Rivers Have Same Legal Rights As Humans? A Growing Number Of Voices Say Yes
In early July, Bangladesh became the first country to grant all of its rivers the same legal status as humans. From now on, its rivers will be treated as living entities in a court of law. The landmark ruling by the Bangladeshi Supreme Court is meant to protect the world's largest delta from further degradation from pollution, illegal dredging and human intrusion...
July 23, 2019 | Property Rights
Council approves property rights, other amendments to Livable Frederick
Frederick County’s Livable Frederick comprehensive plan will include protections for private property, after a vote Tuesday night by the Frederick County Council.
The council voted 6-0 to approve an amendment proposed by Councilman Phil Dacey to add language to the plan to state that it should “consider the rights of individual property owners” in its legislation, regulations or policies...
July 9, 2019 | Property Rights
Texas files eminent domain lawsuit to pull 2.5 acres from Cowboys Dancehall
SAN ANTONIO — Even when a honky-tonk hall is closed, a different type of "honk" fills the air.Traffic - and a lot of it - surrounds Cowboys Dancehall. The 16-acre property sits between Austin Highway, I-35, and the 410 Loop. I-35 is notorious for congestion and crashes during rush hour, but a change to the iconic San Antonio dance hall could change all that...
July 2, 2019 | Property Rights
After 6-Year Battle, Florida Couple Wins The Right To Plant Veggies In Front Yard
Okra. Bell peppers. Cherry tomatoes. Jalapeños and squash.Those are some of the vegetables that Hermine Ricketts and her husband, Tom Carroll, planted in front of their home in Miami Shores, Fla., on Monday.That's the day a Florida law went into effect that nullifies local bans on vegetable gardens at residential properties. It was one of those ordinances that had forced the couple to uproot a garden that Ricketts had tended for 17 years...
June 22, 2019 | Property Rights
Supreme Court Overturns Precedent In Property Rights Case — A Sign Of Things To Come?
A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday that property owners can go directly to federal court with claims that state and local regulations effectively deprive landowners of the use of their property.The 5-4 decision overturned decades of precedent that barred property owners from going to federal court until their claims had been denied in state court...
June 20, 2019 | Property Rights
Restrictions in the works for property rights, nightly rentals
Moab’s growing pains may soon be yours if you own real estate in the county.Temporary moratoria have halted new overnight lodging project applications in Moab and Grand County. With the deadline looming for the county moratorium’s expiration in August, county agencies are moving to implement sweeping changes to commercial and residential property rights...
June 6, 2019 | Property Rights
Ohioans say land seizure for pipeline violates property rights
Ohio landowners say they were coerced by a federal agency to sell their property for the construction of an export pipeline. They argue this use of eminent domain, the seizure of private property for public use, violates constitutional rights...
June 5, 2019 | Property Rights
Does climate change violate children’s right to life, liberty and property? A U.S. court may decide
In a courtroom packed with environmental activists, federal judges grappled Tuesday with whether climate change violates the constitutional rights of young people who have sued the U.S. government over the use of fossil fuels. A Justice Department attorney warned three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that allowing the case to go to trial would be unprecedented and open the doors to more lawsuits...Read Full Article >>
May 27, 2019 | Property Rights
Proposed short-term rental regulations ‘take away property rights,’ Spanish Town residents say
While residents in the Spanish Town Historic District want the city-parish to regulate the short-term rentals in their neighborhood, a proposed ordinance that surfaced recently is not what they had in mind...
May 8, 2019 | Property Rights
Court upholds California farmworker union’s right to enter growers’ property
A divided federal appeals court upheld California farm labor regulations Wednesday that allow union organizers to enter growers’ properties at specific times — before and after work and during the lunch hour — to talk to workers...
May 4, 2019 | Property Rights
Property owners protest use of eminent domain for pipelines
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) -- Much to Gary Erb's chagrin, a natural gas pipeline now cuts across his 72-acre homestead in Conestoga Township, Pennsylvania.To his even greater chagrin, he remains unpaid for the 6 acres (2.4 hectares) of land that were taken from him under eminent domain to build the pipeline.With the help of a Virginia-based legal group, he is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to end what he and his lawyers say has become a common practice in the pipeline industry: taking the land first, and paying later...
April 26, 2019 | Property Rights
Days ahead of next round of talks, US slams China for ‘failure’ on intellectual property reform
China continues to engage in “unfair and harmful conduct” that damages US intellectual property rights, despite some limited areas of IP protection reform, the US government announced on Thursday.The Asian country, with which the US is engaged in a months-long, multibillion-dollar trade war, will remain on Washington’s “priority watch list” for IP protection infringement, according to a report issued by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)...
April 12, 2019 | Property Rights
Short-term vacation rentals are all about property rights. But whose?
Jennifer Riley has lived for the past four years in a residential area a few blocks away from the water in Indian Rocks Beach in Pinellas County.For the first two years she loved living in the community – but no more.She’s been dealing with short-term renters in the neighborhood who play loud music, party deep into the wee hours of the morning, and even threaten her.“I had one guy. It was after 10 p.m. and we called the police and so he came over, and he looked at my boyfriend and he said, ‘You know what the bad thing is? I know where you live. You don’t know where I live,’” Riley recalls...
April 8, 2019 | Property Rights
Eminent domain bills look to back landowners in rural areas
ODESSA, Texas (BIG 2 / FOX 24) - Two bills going through legislature over in Austin could change the way energy companies and land owners interact. Many people are reaping the benefits of the booming oil economy and some lawmakers want to make sure homeowners are not being stepped on. Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, and Rep. DeWayne Burns, R-Cleburne, filed legislation back in January to reform the current process of eminent domain...
April 1, 2019 | Property Rights
Private property rights at center of vacation rental regulation debate
Miles Conway bought what he thought was a secluded slice of paradise on Hutchinson Island just over the Indian River County line. But the unspoiled barrier island is being ruined by a wave of unregulated vacation rental properties, he said.These unlicensed and unregulated vacation rentals are popping up on both sides of the Indian River Lagoon, he said...
March 25, 2019 | Property Rights
Eminent domain threatened in Santa Cruz highway widening plans
SANTA CRUZ — The City Council on Tuesday will consider taking the rare step of forcing a private River Street property owner to sell the city two properties integral to a planned highway interchange road widening project.The Santa Cruz Public Works Department is attempting to position the city to receive state funding that would add lanes at the heavily trafficked intersection of Highway 1 and Highway 9...
March 19, 2019 | Property Rights
Jury awards $305K to Kokomo Glass in eminent domain dispute
A Howard County jury last week awarded a longtime local business hundreds of thousands of dollars in an eminent domain case involving the city of Kokomo and its downtown development efforts.A jury in Howard Superior Court 2 on Friday awarded $305,600 to the family that owns Kokomo Glass Shop Inc. for “the … property owner’s damages” after city officials in December 2016 initiated eminent domain to obtain property at 226 S. Main St.Court documents show the site held “storage and manufacturing for the glass company,” while its showroom and salesroom was located across the street at 226 S. Union St...
March 12, 2019 | Property Rights
Town of Tonawanda to seek control of Huntley plant through eminent domain
The Town of Tonawanda plans to launch a legal effort to take over the closed Huntley Generating Station from its owner. The Town Board at its March 25 meeting is planning to vote to begin eminent domain proceedings against NRG Energy, Supervisor Joseph Emminger said Monday. Huntley closed in 2016 and the property is for sale but NRG still provides untreated water to local industrial customers. Tonawanda officials want to ensure that continues. Emminger said those agreements expire this year...
March 6, 2019 | Property Rights
LA settles homeless property rights case
In a rare non-unanimous decision, the Los Angeles City Council voted 10-2 Wednesday to settle a court case with broad implications for the property rights of homeless residents.
The terms of the agreement have not been released, but by settling the lawsuit, an injunction issued in 2016 that prevents police and city workers from confiscating without notice the possessions of homeless residents in the Skid Row area will remain in place...
March 1, 2019 | Property Rights
Western North Dakota landowners call property rights bill ‘offensive’
Western North Dakota landowners lined up Friday to testify against an energy bill they called an “offensive” taking of private property rights, while supporters said there’s a misunderstanding of the bill’s intention.
Sponsors of Senate Bill 2344 say it seeks to clarify issues related to pore space, or the cavity or void in an underground formation...
February 20, 2019 | Property Rights
U.S. Supreme Court: Range Rover seizure violated protections against excessive fines
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled police in Indiana acted improperly when they seized a $42,000 Range Rover from a man who sold a small amount of heroin — a decision that threatens some of the hundreds of millions of dollars in property seizures annually by police across the country...
February 18, 2019 | Property Rights
Property rights, hunting addressed in ND legislature
BISMARCK, N.D. - It's been a long tug of war between hunter and landowner. Lawmakers are putting together a bill they believe will benefit both.
Senate bill 2315 has the hunter needing to ask permission to hunt posted land, but this time law makers are implementing technology to do the job. Land ownership will be coded green (available for hunting), yellow (you must get permission), or red (no hunting allowed)...
February 13, 2019 | Property Rights
Police can’t seize property until conviction under bill passed by Senate
LANSING — Police and prosecutors would be prohibited from seizing cash and property from people accused of a crime until they are convicted on the charges under a bill passed in the state Senate on Wednesday.
The bill — SB 2 — is a retread from the last legislative session when then-state Rep. Peter Lucido's similar bill passed the House but never got a vote in the Senate...
February 5, 2019 | Property Rights
Mississippi won’t reinstate law allowing no-judge seizures
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi lawmakers have rejected plans to allow police to resume seizing cash, guns and vehicles without going before a judge, agreeing with civil liberties advocates that the practice was unjust.
House Judiciary A Committee Chairman Mark Baker said his committee won't consider House Bill 1104 , which would have reinstated a previous law. That means it dies at a Tuesday deadline for legislation to advance out of committee. The Brandon Republican, who's running for attorney general, said House leaders decided not to move forward with the proposal...
January 29, 2019 | Property Rights
Michigan Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Property Tax Case
The Michigan Supreme Court agreed to hear a case later this year over government officials having confiscated a man’s property for $8.41 in unpaid interest on taxes and kept the $24,500 it fetched at auction.
Uri Rafaeli failed to pay the interest owed on property taxes for a rental property several years ago. Oakland County, Michigan eventually foreclosed on his property for the $8.41 plus $277 in additional interest and fees. The county sold his property at an auction in 2014 for $24,500 and kept the whole amount...
January 18, 2019 | Property Rights
Wyoming Introduces Bill Offering Cryptocurrencies Legal Clarity To Attract Blockchain Business
In a significant move for the advancement and legitimization of cryptocurrencies and blockchain businesses in the United States, Wyoming has introduced a bill that aims to clarify the legal position of digital assets, as well as offer digital asset custody through banks rather than financial institutions.
The Bill offers three classifications of digital assets; digital securities, digital assets, and most importantly, virtual currencies which give cryptocurrencies the same treatment as money within the state...
January 20, 2019 | Property Rights
They were acquitted of drug trafficking, but Uncle Sam wants to keep their property anyway
Jerry Shults and his daughter, Amy Herrig, were recently acquitted of drug trafficking charges, but the government is not done with them yet: It wants to take much of their money and property using controversial federal forfeiture laws...
December 11, 2018 | Property Rights
In Georgia, water rollback divides on property rights vs. environment
Some of Georgia’s top Republican elected officials, agricultural organizations and business development groups cheered the Trump administration’s move Tuesday to roll back a sweeping Obama-era clean water regulation aimed at protecting tributaries to navigable waterways...
December 4, 2018 | Property Rights
John Bolton: US may ban imports from China that rely on stolen intellectual property
National security adviser John Bolton suggested Tuesday that the White House could seek to bar any imports from China that employ stolen intellectual property from American businesses…
November 29, 2018 | Property Rights
9 charged with selling Samsung’s inernational property, report says
Nine people face charges for allegedly selling Samsung’s curved-edge display technology…
November 29, 2018 | Property Rights
Canton tree dispute fuels property rights fight with lawsuits, proposed state law
A dispute between Canton Township and two brothers accused of illegally clearing trees…
November 27, 2018 | Property Rights
Algonquin to start eminent domain proceedings to acquire land for roundabout
The village of Algonquin will start eminent domain proceedings to try to acquire private property and construct a roundabout…
November 27, 2018 | Property Rights
Eminent domain fight looms in Hopedale over former mill site
The town of Hopedale was originally established as a utopian community, built to honor Christian ideals. But there’s nothing particularly utopian about how efforts to revive this Central Massachusetts municipality’s downtown are playing out…
November 27, 2018 | Property Rights
Supreme Court Orders Review of Agency’s Frog-Habitat Designation
The Supreme Court gave Weyerhaeuser Co. another chance Tuesday to possibly develop a Louisiana timber farm, which could doom an endangered species of frog, telling a lower court to review the government’s decision to designate the land as critical habitat...
November 19, 2018 | Property Rights
Judges question seizure of AC property through eminent domain
It was back to court for the Birnbaums…
- Private Property Rights
- MGM Studios v. Grokster (2005)
- Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Commission (1992)
- The United States v. Causby (1946)
- Quincy Railways v. Chicago (1897)
- Property Rights and the Supreme Court
- Internet Copyright and Piracy Bills
- Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine Laws
- Searching for the Fourth Amendment
- Unlocking your Cellphone: Property Rights in the Digital Age
- Civil Asset Forfeiture: Is it Constitutional?
- Should the Government Regulate the Internet?