Since the decision by the United States Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London many states across the country have taken measures to help protect the rights of private ownership. The controversial Kelo decision held that a local government can take the private property of one person and give it to another private entity. While the Court’s ruling was seen by many as a serious blow to citizen’s constitutionally protected rights of private property ownership, the decision prompted a number of states to initiate legislative reform to help curb eminent domain abuse.
The Castle Coalition has released a report, grading each of the states based on their efforts to protect private property owners and their rights based on changes in their respective state laws. The Castle Coalition is the Institute for Justice’s nationwide grassroots property rights activism project that teaches home and small business owners how to protect themselves and stand up to abuse by governments and developers who seek to use eminent domain to take private property for their own gain. Stated below is the letter grade, as given by the Castle Coalition, along with a description of the changes that have occurred since Kelo v. City of New London.
In 2006, House Bill 1080 was passed in South Dakota, which proves significant reform and protection for property owners. House Bill 1080 passed by a landslide in the Senate, and effectively bans all governmental agencies from private property takings that solely serve the purpose of private party transfers. The bill also states that if condemned land is not used for the purpose in which it was taken within 7 years, the original owner may re-purchase the property, without having to pay the current market value.
Additionally, the state of South Dakota has a strict definition on the actual uses of property in an eminent domain proceeding, which leaves no room for loopholes in the state’s system for condemnation.
The state of South Dakota has seen significant reform since the landmark case of Kelo v. City of New London, which has provided unassailable protection for property owners across the state. House Bill 1080 efficiently ended private to private transfers, narrowed the terms of usage of eminent domain in the state, and also puts a 7-year time frame on condemned property development. With these changes in effect, property owners in the state are now fully protected against eminent domain abuse. Click to read more about House Bill 1080.