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Unalienable Rights Foundation - Patrick County Take Lead In Stopping Eminent Domain
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Welcome to Unalienable Rights Foundation!


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 Patrick County Take Lead In Stopping Eminent Domain

NEWS-UNALIENABLE-RIGHTS

The Board of Supervisors of Patrick County,  Virginia passes historic legislation to restore Constitutional Property Rights.   

Patrick County, Virginia 
July 11, 2005
Reported July 27, 2005

The heart and spirit of Virginians Jefferson, Madison, Mason, and Washington live in the souls of the Board of Supervisors of Patrick County,  Virginia.  This band of Virginians restored the principles of private property rights the founding fathers held sacred to our country's laws.  These were the very same rights the Court on High in Washington, D.C.  stripped from the Constitution our founding fathers provided us, to preserve those rights. Eric Helms Monday, Attorney for the County of Patrick,  wrote that the resolution was drafted by Supervisor Martin and it was simply introduced and adopted, in reaction to the recent US Supreme Court holding in the matter of Kelo v. New London.

Monday further stated that to his knowledge, 'this is the first (and currently only) legislation adopted in Virginia, regarding eminent domain, in the wake of the Kelo case.  Our Board was most anxious to express its dismay at the Supreme Court's ruling, and to decline to exercise the expansive power the Court extended to local government." 

Editor's Note:  Portions of the following treatise are paraphrased from the Virginia Resolution of 1798.

Virginians boast of the Virginia Resolution passed in 1798, by the Virginia General Assembly. The Virginia resolution stated ...a firm resolution to maintain and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of this State, against every aggression either foreign or domestic, and that they will support the government of the United States in all measures warranted by the former.

Further that resolution provided that the general assembly most solemnly declared a warm attachment to the Union of the States, to maintain which it pledges all its powers; and that for this end, it was their duty to watch over and oppose every infraction of those principles which constitute the only basis of that Union, because a faithful observance of them, can alone secure it's existence and the public happiness.

The  Patrick County Supervisors' insights  into the action of the Court on High cause them to pass a Resolution to make sure the tentacles of the Court on High did not pass to its borders.

The Supervisors' did explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal court, as resulting from the compact, to which the states are parties; as limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact; as no further valid that they are authorized by the grants enumerated in that compact; and that in case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers, not granted by the said compact, the states who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights and liberties appertaining to them.

The Supervisors have expressed their deep regret, that a spirit has in sundry instances, been manifested by the Supreme Court of the United States which has  enlarged its powers by forced constructions of the constitutional charter which defines them; and that implications have appeared of a design to expound certain general phrases (which having been copied from the very limited grant of power, in the former articles of confederation were the less liable to be misconstrued) so as to destroy the meaning and effect, of the particular enumeration which necessarily explains and limits the general phrases; and so as to consolidate the states by degrees, into one sovereignty, the obvious tendency and inevitable consequence of which would be, to transform the present republican system of the United States, into an absolute, or at best a mixed monarchy.

The Supervisor's resolution particularly protest against the palpable and alarming infractions of the Constitution, in the matter of Kelo v New London decided by that court on May 23rd, 2005. The Court on High  legislated an  exercise of power no where delegated to it, the federal government, state governments or its subdivisions. The court uniting judicial legislative powers, subverts the general principles of free government; as well as the particular organization, and positive provisions of the federal constitution; and the other of which acts, exercises in like manner, a power not delegated by the constitution, but on the contrary, expressly and positively forbidden by one of the amendments thereto; a power, which more than any other, ought to produce universal alarm, because it is leveled against that right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon, which has ever been justly deemed, the only effectual guardian of every other right.

Virginia and its subdivisions  having by its Convention, which ratified the federal Constitution and its amendments, expressly declared, that among other essential rights, "No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."   and from its extreme anxiety to guard these rights from every possible attack of sophistry or ambition, recommended an amendment for that purpose, which amendment was, in due time, annexed [V amendment ] into the Constitution; it would mark a reproachable inconsistency, and criminal degeneracy, if the indifference the Court now shows to the Fifth Amendment were to go un redressed. The indifference now shown, to the most palpable violation of one of the Rights, thus declared and secured; and to the establishment of a precedent which may be fatal to the others. 

That the good people of Board of Supervisors of Patrick County of this Commonwealth, having ever felt, and continuing to feel, the most sincere affection for their natural rights of life and liberty - their God Given Rights, passed a resolution to insure their natural rights of life, liberty and property.  From Mr. Jefferson's mountains rings out an alarm from the Supervisors that shall go on to  the truest anxiety for establishing and perpetuating the rights of life, liberty and property and their most scrupulous fidelity to the constitution, which is the pledge of mutual friendship, and the instrument of mutual happiness; the Supervisors have solemnly appeal to the like dispositions of others states, in confidence that they will concur within and without  this commonwealth in declaring, as it has declared, that the acts of the Court of High  are unconstitutional; and that the necessary and proper measures will be taken  for co-operating with the subdivisions of this state, in maintaining the Authorities, Rights, and Liberties, referred to the States respectively, or to the people.

County of Patrick
P.O. Box 466
Stuart, Virginia 24171
Telephone: (276) 694-6094
Fax: (276) 694-2160

 

 

VIRGINIA:    At a regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Patrick, held at the Patrick County Administration Building thereof on Monday, July 11, 2005 at 3:00 p.m.

  PRESENT:    H. Danny Foley, Sr., Chairman; Darrell Cockerham, Crystal P. Harris, and David G. Young, Board Members; Regena H. Handy, County Administrator; Michael Burnette, Assistant County Administrator; Eric Helms Monday, County Attorney; and Mary Beth Roberson, Assistant to County Administrator. 

  ABSENT:            Roger L. Martin, Vice Chairman.

  On motion made and duly seconded:     

                                  WHEREAS, The UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION is the fundamental defining document that lays out the basic legal and moral framework that comprises the essence of this great American nation.  It is a legal document meant by the founding fathers to be narrowly interpreted and strictly construed, and 

WHEREAS, unfortunately the Supreme Court and other elements of the judiciary have tended to treat it as a political document that has slowly evolved corrupting the meaning to fit the necessities of the moment.  The substitution of public purpose for public use in the Fifth Amendment is an example, and  

WHEREAS, The Fifth Amendment states”… nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.  Effective 5/23/2005 the Supreme Court gutted this vital protection for private ownership of real estate by changing PUBLIC USE to PUBLIC PURPOSE thereby allowing any political subdivision of government to use the power of eminent domain to take private property by condemnation and then give it to any private citizen or other private interest for any purpose whatever.  The purpose may allegedly be to increase taxes, clean up an area of elderly or minority, low value housing, build a mall, etc.  These people generally cannot or do not fight back.  Property belonging to wealth and influence is rarely condemned.  There is no penalty if the entity getting the property converts it to its own profitable use. This change may possibly subject the taking of real estate and property rights by greedy developers, corporations and those of wealth and influence in concert with incompetent apathetic politicians in exchange for campaign contributions or other considerations, and 

WHEREAS, Condemnation must not be used to acquire private property unless that property is absolutely necessary for PUBLIC USE and the need overrides the importance of established private use, and  

WHEREAS, The use of condemnation to acquire the property of the elderly, working people and those of limited means usually results in considerable loss of money, causes tremendous stress and is significantly adverse to the people and the community.  The property owner is at a severe disadvantage without competent legal representation in a struggle against big government with the taxpayer’s money and possibly abetted by other wealth and influence.  The condemner’s agents emphasize the great cost and stress of such a legal battle to the property owners and often threaten the elderly and vulnerable people with limited resources.  Most give in and sign away their rights for a pittance.  These people can lose a significant portion of their life savings.  The abuse suffered by the elderly and those not equipped to fight often amounts, in reality, to legal extortion, and   

WHEREAS, in many cases trials are held off for a period of years.  The condemner takes the property, deposits an inadequate amount of money in the county clerks office and then fails to finalize the taking by court action until much later.  This writer has this problem at present.  As a result the property owner no longer has his land and may not have the resources to replace what was taken especially in residential or business property causing often serious problems to the people, and   

WHEREAS, Condemners are sometimes able to retain incompetent and dishonest appraisers to furnish low-ball market value estimates and in the case of partial or easement takes to totally ignore the value of damage caused by the take to the remainder of the property, and 

NOW THEREFORE BE THE FOLLOWING RESOLVED, Neither the Board of Supervisors nor any entity or subdivision of the County government shall be permitted to take private property through the power of eminent domain for a public purpose.  The Board of Supervisors or any entity or subdivision thereof shall be permitted to take private property by the power of eminent domain only for a public use, as opposed to a public purpose.  Furthermore, an increase in tax revenue or an increase in the number of jobs shall not be deemed a public use that will permit the exercise of the power of eminent domain. 

Private property shall under no circumstances be condemned by the county or any entity or subdivision thereof and then conveyed, loaned, rented or otherwise given or conveyed, whether permanently or temporarily, to any private interest for any purpose. 

The use of the power of eminent domain shall be exercised by the county or any entity or subdivision thereof only for private property that is absolutely necessary for strictly public use and then only as a last resort and only upon the failure of all available and appropriate attempts to negotiate a purchase with written offers of up to 150% of the market value as determined by a competent accurate appraisal which is consistent with the local real estate market. 

When in the case of a partial take or an easement take or any other circumstances that reduce the value or the highest and best use of the remainder of the property, the condemner shall take the entire property unless the property owner is appropriately compensated for the damages. 

As a condition of the condemnation, the property owner shall retain possession of the subject property until just compensation has been determined, ordered and paid.  If payment is not made within 60 days of the termination of the trial, interest on the amount of just compensation shall accrue at the rate of 3% (three percent) per month compounded. 

The condemner shall pay all the costs arising from the condemnation for both the condemner and the condemned. 

The condemner shall make a relocation assistance payment to the property owner in the take of residential, industrial, or commercial property in the amount of 10% (ten percent) of the competent estimate of market value or of the just compensation whichever is higher.

 

Motion carried.

 

                    A COPY,                                     __________________________________

                                  TESTE:                            Regena H. Handy, County Administrator                                                                                                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 




 
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