Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

Just when you think New London, CT can't sink any lower.....

Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Just when you think New London, CT can't sink any lower.....

Old 08-17-05, 03:04 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: La Crosse, WI
Posts: 15,556
Just when you think New London, CT can't sink any lower.....

http://fairfieldweekly.com/gbase/New...oid=oid:119000

A New (London) Low
A refrigerator box under the bridge: The Kelo Seven prepares for the worst

by Jonathan O'Connell - July 14, 2005

Those who believe in the adage "when it rains, it pours" might take the tale of the plaintiffs in Kelo v. New London as a cue to buy two of every animal and a load of wood from Home Depot. The U.S. Supreme Court recently found that the city's original seizure of private property was constitutional under the principal of eminent domain, and now New London is claiming that the affected homeowners were living on city land for the duration of the lawsuit and owe back rent. It's a new definition of chutzpah: Confiscate land and charge back rent for the years the owners fought confiscation.
In some cases, their debt could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Moreover, the homeowners are being offered buyouts based on the market rate as it was in 2000 .

The hard rains started falling that year, when Matt Dery and his neighbors in Fort Trumbull learned that the city planned to replace their homes with a hotel, a conference center, offices and upscale housing that would complement the adjoining Pfizer Inc. research facility.

The city, citing eminent domain, condemned their homes, told them to move and began leveling surrounding houses. Dery and six of his neighbors fought the takeover, but five years later, on June 23, the downpour of misfortune continued as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the city could claim the property for economic development.

Dery owns four buildings on the project site, including his home and the birthplace and lifelong home of his 87-year-old mother, Wilhelmina. Dery plans to make every remaining effort to keep his land, but with few legal options remaining, he's planning for the worst.

And for good reason. It's reasonable to think that people who purchased property years ago (in some cases, decades ago) would be in a position to cash in, especially since they're being forced from their homes. But that's not the case.

The New London Development Corp., the semi-public organization hired by the city to facilitate the deal, is offering residents the market rate as it was in 2000, as state law requires. That rate pales in comparison to what the units are now worth, owing largely to the relentless housing bubble that has yet to burst.

"I can't replace what I have in this market for three times [the 2000 assessment]," says Dery, 48, who works as a home delivery sales manager for the New London Day . He soothes himself with humor: "It's a lot like what I like to do in the stock market: buy high and sell low."

And there are more storms on the horizon. In June 2004, NLDC sent the seven affected residents a letter indicating that after the completion of the case, the city would expect to receive retroactive "use and occupancy" payments (also known as "rent") from the residents.

In the letter, lawyers argued that because the takeover took place in 2000, the residents had been living on city property for nearly five years, and would therefore owe rent for the duration of their stay at the close of the trial. Any money made from tenantssome residents' only form of incomewould also have to be paid to the city.

With language seemingly lifted straight from The Goonies , NLDC's lawyers wrote, "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." They 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.

A lawyer for the residents, Scott Bullock, responded to the letter on July 8, 2004, asserting that the NLDC had agreed to forgo rents as part of a pretrial agreement in which the residents in turn agreed to a hastened trial schedule. Bullock called the NLDC's effort at obtaining back rent "a new low."

"It seems like it is simply a desperate attempt by a nearly broke organization to try to come up with more funds to perpetuate its own existence," Bullock wrote. He vowed to respond to any lawsuit with another.

With the case nearly closed, the NLDC may soon make good on its promise to sue. Jeremy Paul, an associate UConn law dean who teaches property law, says it's not clear who might prevail in a legal battle over rent. "From a political standpoint, the city might be better off trying to reach some settlement with the homeowners," he says.

An NLDC estimate assessed Dery for $6,100 per month since the takeover, a debt of more than $300K. One of his neighbors, case namesake Susette Kelo, who owns a single-family house with her husband, learned she would owe in the ballpark of 57 grand. "I'd leave here broke," says Kelo. "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."

That's one way to get out of the rain.
I don't think the smiley does this justice. perhaps.
NORML54601 is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 05:04 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Bonney Lake, WA
Posts: 4,276
That is fucking messed up.
muggins is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 06:43 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,840
Wow, is there any kind of high-profile person who can come into this situation like Jesse Jackson? I mean, he is good at getting publicity for people who are in a scrape.
PrincessT is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 06:58 AM
  #4  
Moderator
 
nemein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: 1bit away from total disaster
Posts: 34,141
I know it's unlikely but I'd love to see one of the major backers or developers pull out of this project now in protest over these actions.
nemein is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 07:26 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 52,446
1) When was the original Kelo suit initiated.

2) Moneys owed would reflect the value of property at the time the lawsuit was initiated, not today. It's called "Date Of Taking".

3) Why no high-profiles or protests? Because the Supreme Court made a decision. There are no appeals. They must leave.

4) This is part of being an American. You do not have a 100% right to your home. You can be forced to leave. People need to wake up and understand the Constitution is a joke, and you're at the butt-end of it.

5) It is apparent that Kelo et al., were informed of retro-rent. They decided to take a risk. They should have had better counsel instead of their lawyers threatening to sue with more lawsuits. Yeah, that'll teach the city. We'll just keep on suing them. It's all fun and games when you're the attorney and you don't have to move out of your own home.

6) I would have advised them to take the money in 2000, and if not, informed them of they could be billed for occupation from the time of initial city action to the time of case closure.

"It seems like it is simply a desperate attempt by a nearly broke organization to try to come up with more funds to perpetuate its own existence," Bullock wrote. He vowed to respond to any lawsuit with another.

See, it's attitudes like this that will get your client a nice bill from the city. Great way to negotiate terms with the city, Dumbass. Your clients probably have a zero chance of not paying with that behavior.

People don't understand that once you are locked in a legal battle of disputed property, your property can become locked as well.

Since there is a DOT (Date Of Taking), the city can request payments since that date.

And more importantly....THIS IS MEANT TO BE LEGISLATED BY YOUR STATE. The Kelo decision is unfortunate for the Kelo people. No doubt about it. And they apparently got shitty counsel. However, these actions can now be legislated in any state. In addition, a state can require that when the city comes in and takes a home, a more "premium" price be paid on the property.

The Supreme Court merely set the foundation for states to start getting their act together. It is now up to the people of those states to demand of their politicians to initiate legislation to better compensate property owners, and/or protect them from property takeovers period.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 08-17-05 at 07:31 AM.
DVD Polizei is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 08:48 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Work. Or commuting. Certainly not at home.
Posts: 17,816
Except you kinda skipped this part to make your little point there:

A lawyer for the residents, Scott Bullock, responded to the letter on July 8, 2004, asserting that the NLDC had agreed to forgo rents as part of a pretrial agreement in which the residents in turn agreed to a hastened trial schedule.
wildcatlh is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 09:29 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Just north of Atlanta
Posts: 5,215
Had these people left their homes in 2000 when ordered to, they could have bought a new home at 2000 prices. They took a gamble and lost.

With that said, it's still hard not to feel for these people. The whole concept of "Eminent Domain" is fucked up.
johnglass is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 09:43 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: BV VA
Posts: 6,070
Originally Posted by johnglass
Had these people left their homes in 2000 when ordered to, they could have bought a new home at 2000 prices. They took a gamble and lost.

With that said, it's still hard not to feel for these people. The whole concept of "Eminent Domain" is fucked up.
I agree on both counts. It sucks but sometimes it's not worth fighting a losing battle.
kantonburg is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 09:53 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East County
Posts: 33,299
I blame Bush.
B.A. is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 10:06 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Minor Threat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 13,736
Originally Posted by B.A.
I blame Bush.

Minor Threat is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 10:10 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East County
Posts: 33,299
B.A. is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 10:11 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 52,446
Originally Posted by WildcatLH
Except you kinda skipped this part to make your little point there:
A lawyer for the residents, Scott Bullock, responded to the letter on July 8, 2004, asserting that the NLDC had agreed to forgo rents as part of a pretrial agreement in which the residents in turn agreed to a hastened trial schedule.
If they made an agreement, then there's nothing to worry about then. Did the NLDC have the legal capacity to negotiate such agreements, and was the city aware of such agreements.

I'm still confused on the hastened trial in lieu of forgoing rent. The case lasted 4 years, and went to the Supreme Court. That's as high as you can go. So, I'm missing the part where Bullock and his clients agreed to any kind of trial hastening.
DVD Polizei is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 11:24 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
sracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
Posts: 12,852
Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
If they made an agreement, then there's nothing to worry about then. Did the NLDC have the legal capacity to negotiate such agreements, and was the city aware of such agreements.

I'm still confused on the hastened trial in lieu of forgoing rent. The case lasted 4 years, and went to the Supreme Court. That's as high as you can go. So, I'm missing the part where Bullock and his clients agreed to any kind of trial hastening.
what's probably missing from the article is that the agreement was contingient upon accepting the first court's ruling.... that would be the "hastening" part.
sracer is offline  
Old 08-17-05, 11:29 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,459
There's things you can do to move a case along quicker -- shorter briefing schedules, less time for discovery, etc. Four years from the filing of a complaint to a Supreme Court opinion is actually relatively speedy for a civil matter.
JasonF is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.