|This ruling is outrageous, and must be corrected. The Takings Clause doesn't differentiate regarding under which powers property is taken, and capturing a criminal is certainly a "public use". ACH-PTHOOEY!|
Posted by: TEEBONE ® |
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Innocent family whose home demolished by cops get surprise help - WND
'If the government requires a piece of property to be destroyed, then the government should pay for it'
By WND Staff
A Denver-area family whose home was destroyed by police officers who were searching for a shoplifting suspect is appealing its case to a federal appeals court.
"If the government needs to destroy your home to build a freeway or a school, the Constitution entitles you to just compensation," said the Institute for Justice, which is defending the family. "But what if the government needs to destroy your home for some other reason – say, to capture a fugitive who has randomly taken refuge in your house while fleeing the police? Does the government owe you anything?"
In October, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled against Leo and Alfonsia Lech of Greenwood Village. The panel said that as long as the government uses its "police power" to destroy property, it cannot be required to provide compensation under the U.S. Constitution’s Takings Clause.
On Monday, the Institute for Justice announced it filed a petition for rehearing by the entire 10th Circuit.
"The simple rule of the Constitution is that the government cannot arbitrarily single out private citizens to bear the costs of something that should rightly be the burden of society as a whole," said Jeffrey Redfern, a lawyer for the organization.
"If the government requires a piece of property to be destroyed, then the government should pay for it – and that’s just as true regardless of whether the people doing the destroying are the local school board or the local police."
WND previously reported the demolition happened in 2015 when Greenwood Village police responded to a shoplifting report at a Walmart. The suspect, Jonathan Seacat, fled into the Lechs' home. Police used a boom ram on an armored vehicle to destroy the walls of the house and expose the shoplifting suspect to snipers.
The home was left uninhabitable. The city condemned it, and the Lechs were forced to rebuild from the ground up.
The city offered the family $5,000.
The judges in their ruling at the time said they were refusing to accept "the Lechs' assertion that the police power does not encompass the state’s ability to seize property from an innocent owner."
The decision was authored by Barack Obama-appointee Nancy Moritz.
After a lower court judge ruled for the city, the Lechs argued the "takings clause" in both the U.S. and Colorado constitutions "promises to compensate property owners for land taken by the government."
But because the home was destroyed in a police raid – and not under the authority of eminent domain for a specific community project – the 10th Circuit panel found the constitutional protections do not apply.
Moritz claimed the state "cannot be ... burdened with the condition that the state must compensate [damaged property owners] for pecuniary losses they may sustain in the process."
IJ said Colorado attorney Rachel Maxam brought the original case and continues to represent the family alongside IJ.
"The police are allowed to destroy property if they need to in order to do their jobs safely," said IJ Senior Attorney Robert McNamara. "But if the government destroys someone’s property in order to benefit the public, it is only fair that the public rather than an innocent property owner pay for that benefit."
"Property rights are the foundation of our rights,” said IJ President Scott Bullock. "The court's ruling that government officials can purposefully destroy someone’s home without owing a dime in compensation is not just wrong. It is dangerous, and it is un-American. The Institute for Justice is committed to seeing it overturned, for the Lechs and for the protection of property owners across America.:"
LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATEDemocrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.
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