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The truth is that people who lose their property to eminent domain proceedings are almost never made whole.   With eminent domain, the property owner can’t say “no” and usually must settle for much less than he or she would have bargained for in a voluntary setting. 

 One law professor who has written extensively about the problem of inadequate compensation for people who’ve been forced to sell under eminent domain is Gideon Kanner. In his article “UnEqual Justice under Law: The Invidiously Disparate Treatment of American Property Owners in Taking Cases” he writes:  “The true standard of compensation is not indemnity, but rather fair market value so artfully defined as to exclude factors that sellers and buyers in voluntary transactions would consider, and that the government need only pay for what it acquires, not for what the owner has lost.”

Those losses include business goodwill, relocation expenses and the emotional damage of having to leave a community where one may have strong ties.   In the government’s reasoning, people are expected to suffer such losses as part of the price of being a citizen.  As the Supreme Court stated in the 1949 takings case Kimball Laundry v. U.S., “In view of the liability of all property to condemnation for the common good, loss to the owner of non-transferable values…is properly treated as part of the burden of common citizenship.” That 'tough luck, property owner' mindset still prevails.

Far from “getting a fortune” or even two or three times the market value of their property, most owners are left substantially worse off after their unwanted encounter with condemning government agencies.  Few if any of them are content to shrug off the losses as their part of the “burden of common citizenship.”

Judges, and especially the justices of the Supreme Court, will have to stop ruling that merely because an individual is paid an amount deemed “fair market value,” the Fifth Amendment’s requirement of “just compensation” has been satisfied.

What does all this mean for Oklahomans suffering under the regime of Oklahoma Turnpike Authority?   In recent OTA public meetings, Secretary of Transportation Ridley artfully dodged answering questions about homeowners receiving the 'best offer they'll ever get' from OTA.   Watch video at mark 11:30.   Ridley never answered the question about valuation of property taken.  

If ALL the homeowners in the path went to court, they could potentially raise the price to such exorbitant amounts that OTA might be priced out of this project.   OTA has a set amount they can spend.   Residents wishing to coordinate legal action should start by seeking reputable legal council, preferably lawyers who have tried and won class action eminent domain cases.   Due to OTA forethought, many in-state legal representatives that specialize in eminent domain have already been engaged by OTA, thereby causing a conflict of interest when homeowners call for consultations. 

However, the arduous process of finding representation becomes worthwhile when you consider the following: 
The valuation cases in the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network show a HUGE discrepancy between what is offered by the court appointed commissioners verses OTA's best offer.  The court awarded amounts on appeal for about 10 cases totaled $1,626,485 vs. $593,840 from the initial court commissioners offer. 

"In determining the market value of real property taken by power of eminent domain, it is not merely the value of the property for the use to which is had been employed by the owner that should be considered, but it's adaptability to all purposes, present and prospective, to which it may reasonably be applied by the condemnee must be considered and taken into account in fixing such value".   This was litigated in OTA v. Martin, where the landowners sought compensation for the value of a gravel deposit on the land that had commercial value.   The market value was established by expert witness at $15,500, while OTA's witnesses valued it at between $239 and $800.  

One Eastern Oklahoma County area example - Orchards appear to have been carefully avoided during this alignment.  


Read full article here:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2016/03/15/sorry-mr-trump-but-youre-completely-wrong-about-eminent-domain/2/#7d9bce793add


 


Comments

03/17/2017 4:41am

America is strong and successful country in all over the world. American peoples are taking the property very easily because they has best system about the transforming the property. No fake person are doing the work because there has stick system for all work.

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