December 06, 2006
Absence of Justice
The Washington Supreme Court denied the Strobel sisters' request for review of their eminent domain abuse case with the city of Burien.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at December 06, 2006
11:54 AM | Email This
1. When will people get it that when you elect left wing loonies to public office that this is what will happen....private property no longer exists in the left wing/socialist loonie world
2. What did you expect? The public employee unions pay good money for outcomes like this. If local governments can readily take property from citizens it benefits the bottom lines of the justices' puppet-masters. It's all about the money.
Eric and I disagree on this issue, but I don't think government ought to be in the land development business, except to set basic zoning rules and limited regulations.
Government should not profit if it chooses to lease land to developers so it pads their pocketbook. The land should be taxed like my land.
If someone could give a concise synopsis of why the Supremes ruled the way they did on this issue would be appreciated.
4. They didn't rule against the Strobel sisters, they declined to hear the case, which lets stand the lower court's ruling. I don't know if they gave a reason for denying to hear the case, most likely not.
"Despite the trial court's concern that the Strobel family's property was not at all necessary for the City's project, that the City deliberately targeted the property because the property didn't fit its "vision," and that the City's conduct may have been "oppressive" and an "abuse of power," the court allowed the condemnation. According to the court, it was required to give virtually absolute deference to the City's determination that the Strobel family's property was "necessary" for the project. The Washington Court of Appeals affirmed.
When they put the road through the building the fix was in. The court got the poltical cover it needed and the court covered the "legalities" for the city. This is how the Mafia works. The best that the Strobel's can do at this point is to fight to get the proper value for the property because the city will now low-ball the worth, and that will mean 3 or 4 years in court if they win at all. My brother got the "road-through-the-middle" treatment a number of years ago and just recently got the proper value from DOT. It is a time consuming process that saps the energy you need to run your business and saps your wallet. On top of them taking your property and wanting to pay ½ (or less) what it is worth, they do shady, underhanded things to "prove" that your property isn't worth what they don't want to pay. Once they get the well drillers, soil analyzers and other "experts" lined-up against you, it really gets fun.
Why anybody would vote for people who want to extend government's control to be able to do this kind of thing without reproach is beyond me. Maybe because they don't feel directly threatened. If that is the case, there is need for them to worry, at some point they will be next.
Will the community fight for them? I doubt it. I feel sorry for the Strobels. They had better line up the lawyers, they are in for a real education.
6. Another Kelo case here, just with subversive measures to cover up the fact that they are taking private property from a private citizen and giving it to a private developer. What a travesty.
7. This is tyranny. There is no better name for it.
Ok, I'm running for governor and the first thing I'm going to do if electe4d is propose a road network that has a road cutting through every piece of private property in the state. No need to build it, just get it approved and tuck it away. Then when government wants the land, they can just cite this case and bulldoze your home.
And they said the Supreme Court ruling Kelo v. City of New London couldn't happen in Washington? We have all these protections? Yeah, that's a laugh. The only protections we have are against property rights, low taxes, and responsible government.
9. The problem lies with the fact that people who
own NOTHING get to vote. It used to be that only
landowners could vote.
Torches and pitchforks.
Tar and feathers.
Let the revolution begin.
Oh! Never mind Desperate Housewives is on.
GJiggy 5--"Maybe because they don't feel directly threatened." exactly. that's the crux. like my 'bubble up theory"--no cares until something bubbles up in YOUR yard.
the problem is, like termites, government grows mostly silently & takes more rights & adds more rules on the books. we only notice when the rotten wood (your property & rights) crumble into powder. too late by then. we have to be like good homeowners--constantly checking & probing roofs & basements for the ever-growing political termites chewing at our freedoms and into our lives.
This just FRIES me!!! As I have mentioned before, the definition of "blight" needs to be changed. It is too loose and open to subjective interpretation; it can even include properties the government deems to be "underutilized". If you look at the state's definition of blight, you will see that it doesn't take much creativity or effort on the part of the government to condemn a property, given the scope of the "blight" designation. Many other states have rewritten their laws to clarify and limit the application of this label. This should be one of the first steps we take toward curbing unscrupulous government seizures of private property.
Do the Strobel sisters have any recourse at this point? Since the WA state supreme court has refused to hear the case, does that mean they are left out to hang and dry? Can they appeal the decision through some other channel?
jimmie-howya-doin @ 11: Perfect! The termites analogy is perfect.
Peggy U just above: I'm no lawyer (and I don't play one on TV) but the I believe that the Strobels are screwed. The lower court ruled that the road was "necessary for the project" and unless the higher court overturns it, the lower court stands.
Trouble is with all of this is that it takes money and piles of it to get these cases to higher courts. Most attorneys now are charging $250 and hour. The city has a bottomless pile of money that they collect from you and me and lawyers on staff/retainer. I wonder how much the Strobels have.
In this case I believe it can be expressed thusly:
Whooops! my expression for "...expressed thusly:" had a "great than" caret in it so it didn't appear. Comments thinks it's bad HTML code.
I was just saying that more money wins.
15. The Strobel sisters don't have to just sit there and take it. Organize protests at city hall, the home of the city manager and the functionaries who did the paper work. Don't let the city near the property with a bulldozer. Put up such a fuss that the city will find it better to forget about the new "street."
As a side note... go to http://www.ci.burien.wa.us/. Check out the flag next to "spanish translation of site".
I guess I never realized how many people from Spain lived in Burien!
Kevin @ 7 is right on:
> This is tyranny. There is no better name
> for it.
As was first said by the Founding Fathers:
The right to own, use, and control private property is THE fundamental underpinning of all our other rights and freedoms.
While there are limited instances where the power of eminent domain must be available, those instances need to be very narrowly used, construed, and controlled. This case is an outrage.
And MJC @ 8:
> And they said the Supreme Court ruling
> Kelo v. City of New London couldn't happen
> in Washington?
Yup: It just did... and, yes: I remember State government ''leaders'' claiming ''not here''.
I-933 did not directly address eminent domain, but the same general idea was behind it. Maybe the next property rights initiative needs to specifically focus on this type of blatent abuse. The Strobel sister's case is a ready-made poster child.
To the barricades (politically speaking).
18. As a rule, I don't go in for protests - but this is one instance where I would. I would also like to see someone defend the current definition of "blighted". Sorry to keep harping on it, but if you read it, you would understand why it concerns me. I did a search for Washington state's definition of that term once. Now I can't find it, but if I do I will post it here. I tried to find it through Castle Coalition, but could not.
19. No - you know what? Some way, somehow this case needs to be appealed. It is a slightly different situation than Kelo, and the government used deceptive tactics to bypass the intent of Washington's rules on seizure of private property. It stinks! There ought to be some way to push this to the top and let the Court review another eminent domain case - so that they can get it right this time! If they can rule twice on public displays of religion, they can revisit unjust property seizure. Can the citizens of Burien take action against the city over this? Or at least the patrons of the establishment? I mean in murder cases, there are often separate criminal and civil suits. Perhaps real estate issues can be approached from different angles. Anyone with legal expertise willing to chip in here?
Kevin claims, "This is tyranny. There is no better name for it."
Tyranny - a form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.)
Here we have an elected city government taking actions based on law, and an elected Supreme Court interpreting the law as the constitution requires it to do. That sounds closer to the definition of "democracy".
The Seattle Times printed a much more even-handed article about this matter. Apparently the city wants to include the restaurant in the new development. Of course the sides disagree on whether the city's proposal is fair, and I have no idea who is right.
If you don't like the law, change it. If you don't like the city's use of the law, elect a new city government. But please, look up big words before using them.
"But please, look up big words before using them."
Thus the Fulbright recipient addresses the unwashed. Too bad--an otherwise rational response tainted by last smug flip of finger or tagging "you're it!"
(we have) "an elected Supreme Court interpreting the law"--what--like referencing international law? more like sovereignty diluted.
22. YEAH BRUCE, if you don't like the law, change it. Hey dumbass, we are now in a position where the law is made by special interests and corrupt officials. I'll bet you just hate the initiative process too. After all, isn't it the job of the people we elect to make the law? You are pathetic. Sounds like past the time to start watering the 'Tree of Liberty'.
23. Jimmie- I wouldn't dream of lowering the discourse on SoundPolitics with smug insults. But when someone uses an incendiary word like "tyranny" as the whole point of his post, and he gets it objectively and completely wrong, he deserves to be insulted.
he gets it objectively and completely wrong, he deserves to be insulted. Posted by Bruce at December 7, 2006 09:37 AM
Great advice Bruce. Now go back and clean up those erroneous comments you,ve left hanging in other threads.
bruce 23--maybe--but one must allow for, as in 'tyrrany's' case, what Spock called "a colorful metaphor". surely there is harsher used on the liberal & other blog sites. thus my parry with you. his posting or words used should speak for themselves.
26. peggy, there is no further appeal for this. This is a Washington constitutional law issue and yhe state supreme court is the last word on the issue. because of kelo there is no us con issue. The only way the us supreme court can take it is if it involved the US constitution. That siad, the voters in Burien should throw the bums (incumbant city council and manager) out!