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.
Despite Connecticut being the state where the landmark case of Kelo v. City of New London was held, it still ceased to secure reform for private property owners. It wasn’t until 2007 that Senate Bill 167 was passed, which helped eliminate eminent domain takings primarily for tax revenue. This bill also requires municipalities to pass eminent domain takings with a super-majority vote by the General Assembly, and permits persons to re-purchase property acquired by eminent domain if the property is not used for the intended public use within fifteen years of condemnation. This bill, however, did not provide substantial support for property owners because the law generalized the definition of private property takings, thus allowing more loopholes for condemning authorities to get through.
The state of Connecticut could have been a landmark state to lead the way in legislative reform, especially after Kelo v. City of New London, but ceased to do so. Not only did the state die away from reform, the only piece of legislation passed hardly supported citizens and their right to own private property. Click here for more information on Senate Bill 167.