County of Wayne v Hathcock
471 Mich 445 (2004)
Issue: Eminent domain – Michigan Constitution
Wayne County then began condemnation procedures by adopting a resolution of necessity and a declaration of taking of the property. Wayne County justified its use of condemnation to transfer property to a private entity to achieve the public purposes of economic development i.e., job creation, property tax base expansion, and tax base diversification. The property owners challenged the use of eminent domain as exceeding constitutional authority.
Why did the LDF get involved?
|What action did the LDF take?
Filed an amicus brief with the Michigan Supreme Court
What was the outcome?
1) if public necessity of an extreme sort requires collective action;
2) the property remains subject to public control after transfer; or
3) the reason for choosing the particular property is based on independent significance that it would serve the public good (such as elimination of blight).
The Court did not find that any of the exceptions applied to the Pinnacle Project.
It should be noted that Michigan voters, in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Kelo v City of New London (2005), restricted the use of eminent domain even further by virtue of a constitutional amendment in 2006.
Who prepared the amicus brief?