Im sure when most people hear the words imminent domain, instantly bad thoughts may come to mind. For a better understanding of what it means, I will be discussing some benefits and cost of some eminent domain cases. I have pulled material from research I have found online to describe eminent domain case following with what I believe what good or bad has come out of the stories. Definition of eminent domain is “the right of a state to confiscate private property for the public use, payment usually being made to the owner’s compensation of their loss. In other words, if the government sees potential benefits of making more money or contributing to the government, they will offer a sum of money or value of your property and if you refuse will be forced to give it up anyways. Doesn’t it seem too harsh but it’s not always the case. My belief is as long as the state reviews whatever case accordingly and makes a good decision than eminent domain is not entirely a bad law to invoke. Providing the evidence and reasonable choices, eminent domain can benefit in many ways as well as hurt property owners. Again I have researched a few case from the web and will be giving details about them all in regards to eminent domain and will state what I truly believe is the outcome of the cases, meaning what I feel may have been benefit or loss.
First I would like to start with eminent domain case between a small business owner and family man who resided on a property in which Property Commerce was interested in. Here is a situation which has led to a lawsuit in which eminent domain was used. Oscar Trevino Jr has been a Houston resident for most his life. He has resided on a property in the heights area for about forty five years. Trevino owns two properties on Shearn St which his mother of 70 years lived with him. The other property is used for family business. A new shopping center is incorporated in the area and a broker from property commerce has verbally harassing him about selling his property. Years have passed and he has continued to refuse to sell his properties as the broker who represented the Property Commerce kept on trying. As old as his neighborhood was and worn the properties were, he did not want to give up his long history in the Heights nor give up his family business. They saw that the property had a greater value in the long run and more tax dollars to be made as well as income. As run down as his properties were, his appraisal was at around $75,000. After many long years have passed and as long as Trevino has held back from giving up his properties he was then approached by eminent domain by the Property Commerce. Having no other choice he decided to sell both of his properties. Since he had fought so long, he was given a very large substantial amount of money which was disclosed. I am sure it was a huge sum amount which was enough for financial satisfaction. In this particular eminent domain case I see that a benefit of Trevino’s loss in sense as well as his loss. Since a new shopping center was built more tax dollars will be generated and collected for the government which will than provide for all other people. Also though it seems that the only intentions the Property Commerce had was to expand or build more shopping center so they could generate more revue and well of course more money. All businesses care about finding many ways to increasing profits. It may have struck hard on one individual but what I see is that it will benefit many more. For example the government will build new roads, bridges, schools and provide more public services with the tax dollars they have collected from the new businesses or in this case new shopping center. Trevino’s tax dollar did provide for the government but not as much as the new shopping center will provide. I personally think Trevino’s loss with minor and feel that with the substantial amount money which was giving to him, he can than move to another location and continue his business as well as build or find a new home at another location. He may be leaving his land behind but he can keep his history in memory.
As I done some more research I discover multiple cases in regards to the Dallas Cowboy Stadium which is located in Arlington, TX. There are two anchor points built on the northeast side of the stadium which support the large mass stadium. These anchor points were built over once Evelyn Wrays property and many other residents who once lived there. Evelyn was forced to sell her property for couple million dollars but a new lawsuit popped up in regards to many of the other residents was not properly compensated. What appraisal value for their property was not given accordingly to the owners? I find this one a bit interesting because Arlington had not paid proper property value to the owners. I believe eminent domain should be used resulting positive outcomes but has clearly been used to benefit ones who are using it for themselves. The Dallas stadium is 1.1 Billion in value which the owners should have been paid the highest potential value for their properties they had to forgo. It’s very unfortunate many families lost their homes to the Dallas cowboy stadium. My thoughts are if this stadium generated large amount of revenue, providing lots of tax dollar money than it better show for it. I truly believe the government should step forward and collect the tax dollars and provide for the citizens. How much money will this bring and how much development will it bring are my questions? I personally feel it will have little return as per income which will lead to less development for the American people but as home owners how much tax is being generated versus a large stadium. That being said I see benefits in the multiple cases with the exception that the government in Arlington did not properly give the families true value for their homes. More than enough should have been provided so each family would be able to find or build new property and be able to live very well. In these situation many families lost their homes for absolutely no reason therefore I do not agree with eminent domain used in this case. For Evelyn Wray she may have walked away with millions of dollars but how did the other families feel about losing their homes and properties. Eminent domain was used improperly and should be justified. Many of these families who were forced to sell their homes, short changed are misuse of eminent domain.
Third time attempt, The Texas Supreme Court has ruled against a pipeline company’s to use eminent domain on a rice farm. In a landmark ruling at the Texas Supreme Court last August, a rice farmer in Beaumont along with a rice farming consortium, Texas Rice Land Partners won his case against the Den bury Green Pipeline Company. Den bury which had used eminent domain in order to route a carbon dioxide pipeline across a rice farmers land. It was 24 inch pipe line that stretches from Donaldson ville, Louisiana to the Hastings Field, outside of Houston, Texas. Mike Latta, who is the rice farmer, argued that the pipeline wasn’t for the public’s benefit as it was a private pipeline that would only be used by one company. Mr. Latte believed that the company was taking full advantage of eminent domain to take his land for the companies benefit only. As it was being reviewed by The Supreme Court of Texas they to agree. This case took many long years to make it to the Supreme Court, and in that meantime the company went ahead and built the pipeline anyways without authorization. If such law is made for the good of the people why is it still around if man uses it to take away from others? The pipeline company joined by the Texas Oil and Gas Association and several others associated with the industry which included names such as the Koch Pipeline Company, Kinder Morgan and Occidental Chemical to pursue the case. In March, the Supreme Court still said no which I stand by because they felt grouping up with other oil and gas companies they surely thought they could overrule everything and get away with putting the pipeline down. In the end decision stands and Mr. Lattes was awarded to keeping his farm land. I stand by Matt Latte’s defense. I feel these large oil and gas companies were trying to take advantage of an individual so the company could profit from it. Let’s just say did award the land to the company and put more pipeline’s down in the earth. Would there be more tax dollars generated and if so would they be more than willing to give it up unless forced too. In my eyes I see a man who owns large amount of property growing rice for the American people to eat. We as humans need food resource to survive and without it we are unable to produce back. If we do not produce back than the chain in economy breaks and nothing balances out. That being said, if there is less of food resources than fewer people are less prone to perform their tasks without an important nutrient from a specific food group which will than affect the outcome of a business or corporation. CEO’s or higher arc hi executives see the dollar sign overlooking what may affect them in the long run but hey who cares right, it’s all about making lots of money. I totally disagree. As for the farmer he is making a hard work and honest living which benefits not only him but for many others. As for Den Bury Pipeline Company why could they not route pipes around the land. Being that they generated a substantial amount of money would it hurt for them to spend the extra dollar to route their pipes elsewhere. I think I would in order to save a rice farm which provides me food resources.
Here is another interesting case I found during my research. On March 4, 2010, in Judge Sprinkle’s Tarrant County Courtroom, a gentleman named Steve Doeung had a court hearing in his fight against the company called Chesapeake Energy’s using eminent domain to install a non-odorized natural gas pipeline under his house. It was concluded on March 4 hearing Judge Sprinkle told Steve Doeung that he had no choice but to sign the papers granting Chesapeake Energy the right to run a pipeline under Doeung’s property. The judge told Doeung that he had 30 days from signing the document to file an appeal and that that he would be notified when the order was signed and the 30 day would start. After all was done later down the road Steve Doeung went to the Tarrant County Courthouse to file a petition. A clerk told Doeung that Judge Sprinkle had signed the condemnation order on Tuesday, March 9. The case was closed. Here again is another story how eminent domain was used improperly to fully take advantage of someone for personal benefit towards there company. Now from what I understand about natural gas it’s clean, it’s economical, it’s efficient, and it’s multipurpose and dependable. It’s the cleanest of all fossil fuels and simply the best way to go around as far as energy goes. Good use both outside and inside a home. Using natural gas is savings alone since it’s practically maintenance free. When it comes to production, processing and transportation it’s about ninety percent energy efficient. Here is a little statistics in 1999; seventy percent of natural gas was used in single family homes. I have sympathy for Mr. Doeung’s loss but there’s a larger picture to see since it involves of the use of natural gas, why because it is providing for many other families. I’m sure the compensation for Mr. Doeung property was substantial so there shouldn’t be a difficulty moving on to find another location and property. If I was in that gentleman shoes I would understand the situation and accept the court’s decision. I would definitively look at the outcome of the loss of my property but to know deep down inside why it needs to be done makes me feel good inside knowing it will benefit much more. If you had to choice to use natural gas or electric what would you choose? Well if you’re anything like me, more efficient and want to save as much money as possible I believe you would choose using natural gas meaning you will approve of pipe being built on your property.
Another case I read about is Julia Trigg Crawford versus the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Julia Trigg Crawford, a northeast Texas farmer, is fighting to keep Trans Cananda from using eminent domain to cross her property. A judge in Lamar County ruled against her, but Crawford will file an appeal. Eminent domain rules, the issue at stake in the Crawford case, allow pipelines or other utilities to cross the property of unwilling landowners who get compensated. The state of Texas has thousands of pipelines, but the Keystone XL has drawn national attention because it would transport an especially dirty form of oil, a prospect that infuriates environmentalists. Crawford’s case is only the most visible in what some legal experts describe as a rising tide of property rights cases across Texas. The Texas Supreme Court handed down four decisions on land use concerns, including a ruling that allows the city of Austin to take over a downtown block belonging to lawyer Harry Whittington for use as parking garage and chilling station. The huge amount of activity stems from economic changes. The hydraulic fracturing boom has increased oil and gas activity creating demand for more pipelines that cross private property. The wind-power boom, similarly, has resulted in the construction of major transmission lines in rural areas. Demographics too play a part, according to Matthew Festa, an associate professor at the South Texas College of Law. That tension is evident in cities as well as rural areas; as an example, Festa cited the long running battle in Houston over plans to build a 21 story luxury tower, known as the Ashby high rise, in a residential area. Searching for patterns in the way the Texas courts rule is more difficult that’s because the cases often deal with specifics. The four property rights related Supreme Court decisions released Friday all went against landowners, though they were on different topics, ranging from the city of Beaumont’s right to demolish a neglected building to a dispute over the admissibility of expert testimony and land values at the site of a natural gas processing facility. Terry Jacobson, a Corsicana lawyer involved in a case involved plans for swampland on the site of a potential future reservoir in Titus County. Major land use cases that have drawn recent public attention include a beach access case, in which a property owner won the right to keep the public off the beachfront after erosion had propelled her house essentially onto the beach. After depicting what detail information from this story again I see a similar repetitive action taking place as prior with the other stories. Another individual who is a farmer fighting to keep her land from being taking from a large oil and gas company. I will admit trying to go in depth trying to pull accurate data to try to opinion ate about these cases has proven to be a bit of a challenge so taking from what I know I see another company trying to find other ways to do one thing and that is increase profits. XL pipeline’s wants to put a pipeline in the ground to transport dirty and unsafe oil. Right there you should stop and ask yourself why dirty and unsafe oil. It’s not natural gas nor is it benefiting others. Now economists and environmentalists questions what is the purpose behind their wanting to transport the oil and how will it be done. If environmentalists feel it will be a threat to the land they will not tolerate it. It’s not clean or beneficial so don’t harm others for your profits.
Among the list of more notable eminent domain cases took place in New York. The Penn Central Transportation Company was experiencing a decline in income from its Grand Central Terminal caused by low railroad traffic in 1978. The company desired to use the above air space to construct additional revenue income sources. Due to the building being on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the owners were required to present their plans to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. After reviewing the plans, the Commission ruled the changes couldn’t happen as they would change the landmark too much. Penn Central sued, claiming that the government has used eminent domain to take their private property rights. The Supreme Court ruled against Penn Central, in short because the current use of the property was not harmed by government action. They were awarded no compensation and Penn Central was able to use the building the way it always had. Today it remains a viable economic boon. Here is a case which was slightly a bit different from the prior cases I have discussed. The use of eminent domain was for not so much for oil and Gas Company who was trying to take land from some specific individual who may have ran a farm or whatever case it may have been. I honestly believe that having historic landmarks still around is essential for the wellbeing of people around especially for the new generation of people. History is a big part of how we as a society and economy has gotten where we are today. To remove or change a landmark will eventually alter what we learn and fear what was great in the past may be forgotten. May have Penn Central lost revenue during the 70’s, to add would have not necessarily increased more revenue for business. It’s a matter of quantity and demand which affects the amount of business, profits, supply etc. Expanding is beneficial only if the demand is there but also a huge risk. Penn Central was trying to use eminent domain in only benefiting to add more to their company in which would have affected a historic landmark. Without history we would not have a guideline as to where to go nor how we were evolved.
I think after been researching several cases on eminent domain I have learned a bit of information from it. It’s a law created to confiscate private property for the public use or even companies benefits in gain of profits. I suppose the design of eminent domain was used primarily to focus on purchasing land in which may be of use or be in a way for expansion. My personal opinion may varies due to which stories in which eminent domain was used. I also learned that it can be a powerful and forceful way of getting the land and or property one needs. In the end I don’t really see any ways of getting out of it unless being taking into court to be reviewed and fought for.
After reviewing these cases I have come to conclusion that eminent domain was used in various ways in order for businesses, companies and corporation trying to take and use a piece of land or property for several reasons. The first reason I believe to have been used for increasing profits such as Oil companies laying pipelines in the ground for them to transport oil. Increasing the amount of oil from and to their facilities increases more sales which increases more profits to be made. The second reason I have concluded with the use of eminent domain is businesses, companies and corporations trying to take and use a piece of land are for beneficial reasons. For example a major gas company needing the land to expand to transport natural gases all around. Not only is this useful and efficient for many people or companies around, it is used for many good ways. People and companies are benefiting from it. Our government looks at eminent domain as a way to help provide back to the people but collecting tax dollars that are generated from all companies in order to provide necessary resources such as new roads, firm bridges, small and large buildings for use of upcoming jobs, parks, landmarks and more public services. Other services such as public schools, libraries, government assistant facilities and much more will be provided as well. These are essential needs to the people who are a part of our society that help make what we are today. For those individuals and families who once owned property which were taking away from act of eminent domain, it’s very unfortunate to those. Some individuals and families may have lost something of such value which meant a great deal to them. Depending on the situation and reasoning behind eminent domain used, I may opinionate about how to accept the situation. If I was in a position where eminent domain was used against me to forgo properties of mine, my reaction would surely depend upon why it is being used. When I first discovered what eminent domain was and what it was used for I was livid of its purpose but after researching I have come to a better understanding that it’s not always an immoral thing. Maybe more used in a misleading manor and heavily taking advantage of individuals and families but it has been used for better reasons. Yes, I see the frustration that one may have to go through and hassle dealing with a court system which no one likes to go through but in a brighter side of things, compensation will be made whether it’s high or low price. As much as I feel as if it was unfair like taking ones freedom away its unfortunate we don’t have the ability to just say no and walk away. Instead it seems we have to take further steps through a court system and hope that your story and suffice evidence will convince the court system not to give up your property. Again maybe depending on the situation and act of using eminent domain used on me to give up a property of mine would determine my reactions upon it. I only speak for myself but for others they may not agree with eminent domain on another lever. Upon further research and investigation on these particular cases I’m sure there is more depth reasons within but from what I have read these are my thoughts, both pros and cons to which I have concluded. Let’s us hope it eminent domain never lands on us.
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