It gets worse: Now they owe back rent.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Roger1, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    In the adding insult to injury category, the city officials that triumphed over a group of Connecticut homeowners in a landmark Supreme Court property-rights case are expecting those residents to pay the local government rent dating back to the year 2000.

    The June 23 Supreme Court ruling in Kelo v. City of New London gave the town the approval to seize the residents' homes and transfer them to a private party for development of an office complex. In the highly controversial decision, the justices ruled 5-4 that the economic development resulting from the eminent domain action qualified as "public use" under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

    The city now says that since it won the case, the homeowners actually have been living on city property since 2000 when it first began condemnation procedures against them, so they must pay back rent – to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    "It's a new definition of chutzpah: Confiscate land and charge back rent for the years the owners fought confiscation," wrote Jonathan O'Connell in the Fairfield County Weekly.

    Not only is the city demanding rent, but the buyout offers on the table are based on the market rate as it was in 2000, before most of the growth in the current real-estate bubble.

    The New London Development Corporation, the semi-public organization hired by the city to facilitate the deal, first addressed the rent issue in a June 2004 letter to residents, calling the alleged debt retroactive "use and occupancy" payments.

    "We know your clients did not expect to live in city-owned property for free, or rent out that property and pocket the profits, if they ultimately lost the case," the agency said. It warned that "this problem will only get worse with the passage of time," and that the city was prepared to sue for the money if need be.

    The Kelo case is named after Susette Kelo, who owns a single-family house in New London with her husband. Kelo was told she would owe around $57,000 in rent.

    "I'd leave here broke," Kelo told the weekly. "I wouldn't have a home or any money to get one. I could probably get a large-size refrigerator box and live under the bridge."

    Matt Dery owns four houses on the building site, including the home his 87-year-old mother was born in and still lives in. Dery's past-due rent, according to the city, exceeds $300,000.

    It remains to be seen if a suit will be filed against the residents.

    "From a political standpoint, the city might be better off trying to reach some settlement with the homeowners," Jeremy Paul, an associate UConn law dean who teaches property law, told the paper.

    Link:http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45851
     
  2. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #2
    Good odds on winning a city council seat by campaigning on the promise to rescind that garbage.

    'Rat
     
  3. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

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    That just completely sucks. IMO, the rent angle is nothing more than a power play to scare the crap out of them and make them accept the 2000 FMV on their homes, I can't see how they really owe the city for back rent. If these people have mortgages and have actually been paying "rent" the whole time (to the bank or other lending agent), then those monies paid to the bank are actually due to the city, and that means the banks have to cough up the cash, not the former owners.
    Sucks to be them, though, no matter how you look at it.
     
  4. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #4
    this whole case has made me rethink my view on the assault weapons ban. we have allowed too much power to be placed in too few on a small city council board of morons.
    This case makes me ill. :mad:
     
  5. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    Ho-lee crap...! That's despicable.

    Forget the settlement with the city. Sounds like it's time for a recall election.
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    This is so disturbing I can't even begin to express it. This is the most disgusting abuse of power I've ever seen. I can't believe the Supreme Court allowed this. Get ready to move out of your houses and into a cornfield somewhere. This is where we're heading.
     
  7. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    I'm so glad the status quo was being upheld in this case, since it's nice to know they can now take your home and try to get out of paying -- if you are bold enough to fight it. :rolleyes:

    Kelo sure looks like a winner to me, this should really make all the people opposed real happy -- and fight this with citizen pressure.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #8
    Is there any other way for those home owners to get screwed? :mad:


    Lethal
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    I suppose if they got uppity about it the government could declare them Dangerous To National Security and ship them off to prison for years of living incommunicado, where who knows what would happen.

    'Rat's right, a good candidate could make a whole lot of political hay campaigning against this kind of crap. If the city gave the land to the developer they can take it back again.

    I wonder if this is the whole story though. Are there property owners who are happy to get the money for selling off their houses? I mean, assuming you can get something a little more recent than a 2000 FMV.
     
  10. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816

    kalisphoenix

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  11. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

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    #11
    So these folks work hard their whole lives to achieve the American Dream, then have the local government come and take away their land, then the government expects taxes from them?!?! Despicable...
     
  12. dubbz macrumors 68020

    dubbz

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  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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  14. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

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    aboslutely horrible, this just makes me more thankful that i live right next to a cemetery which a mall can't take over.
     
  15. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    Don't bet on that. I could see a developer appealing to the city to take over a privately owned cemetery. If they wanted to be real jerks, the developers could have the city move the bodies elsewhere.

    It's not common for bodies to be moved, en masse, from a cemetery, but it has happened.
     
  16. Roger1 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    Who's been paying property taxes on these homes for the last 5 years? If it's the people living there, and they claim it on their federal taxes, what do they do now? Is the city going to reimburse them for all the property taxes paid in the last 5 years??

    These people need to seriously consider a recall. :mad:
     
  17. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    That's what I said. Popular opinion being what it is, I'm sure getting enough signatures to get it on the ballot would be easy. Winning probably would, too.
     
  18. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    I think that's the pertinent question. Apparently the city bought these properties five years ago but has allowed the prior owners (presumably under court order) to live on them while the case was on appeal. So technically they may have the right to charge rent, but morally they're out to lunch -- and the city council members deserve to have their heads handed to them at the next election.

    And, if in fact the city bought the properties five years ago, but the owners didn't get the money at that time, then you'd think they're also owed interest.

    Bottom line: There's no substitute for good local government.
     
  19. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #19
    IJ, you've hit the nail with your head, once again.
    If all Politics Are Local, Then All Local Projects Are Political: Local Studies as "Contested Turf Here's a good Georgetown Link underscoring the point.
    X
     
  20. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #20
    And of course, sometimes they don't actually move the bodies, only the headstones. :eek:
     
  21. GeeYouEye macrumors 68000

    GeeYouEye

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    I don't have the link on this computer, but I read the other day that one of the residents apparently owes more in back rent than New London was going to pay in compensation; IOW, he was going to have to pay for his own eviction. Seriously, I have to wonder if we're looking at the next Waco when the sheriffs and the bulldozers start coming in.
     
  22. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

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    Remarkable.

    Who would have thought that the LIBERAL judges would have sided with Wealthy big business and the Conservative judges would have sided with home owners?


    Writing in dissent , Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said cities shouldn't be allowed to uproot a family in order to accommodate wealthy developers.

    "Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random," O'Connor wrote. "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms."

    O'Conner was joined in her opinion by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

    Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said, "The city has carefully formulated an economic development that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including -- but by no means limited to -- new jobs and increased tax revenue."

    He was joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.
     
  23. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

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    #23
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Actually, they didn't. They sided with local government by not changing an eminent domain doctrine that's been around for about 100 years. And it isn't clear that the conservatives on the court sided with the homeowners, except in the narrowest possible sense.
     
  25. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #25
    These "worthy causes" are both foolish and pointless.
     

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