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WisDOT proposes eminent domain law changes

April 17th, 2009 — In News & Events

WisDOT proposes eminent domain law changes

In January the Wisconsin Law Journal featured an article entitled “DOT wants to cap legal fees for eminent domain takings.” The author explained that WisDOT had proposed the changes as part of it’s 2009-11 budget and as a result of an increase WisDOT had seen in the payouts between 2004 and 2007 resulting from taking private property by eminent domain. (See our 1/15/09 post here.)

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April 15th, 2009 — In News & Events

Maryland’s Governor signed emergency eminent domain legislation

On Monday, Maryland’s House voted 93-43 to pass emergency eminent domain legislation allowing the State to condemn the horse racing assets of Magna Entertainment. Yesterday, O’Malley signed SB 1072 (Chapter 3 of the 2009 Legislative Session) into law, effective April 14, 2009. SB 1072 authorizes “the State to acquire by purchase or condemnation the private property rights relating to the Pimlico Race Course, the track known as Laurel Park, the Bowie Race Course Training Center, the name, copyrights, service marks, trademarks, trade names, contract rights, business entities, stocks and horse racing events that are associated with the Preakness Stakes and its trophy, the Woodlawn Vase, and certain other private property.”

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April 15th, 2009 — In News & Events

No reason to write about defamation suits over eminent domain abuses

Apparently, reason magazine was interested in running an article about developers attempts to curb free speech with respect to criticisms about eminent domain abuse. reason was considering discussing the recent defamation suits filed by a Dallas-based developer against a property owner, an author, a law professor, a publishing company and two newspapers for their comments and/or writings about an attempted taking by eminent domain of the property owner’s land for redevelopment into a luxury marina project.

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April 13th, 2009 — In News & Events

Maryland House votes on eminent domain bill for Preakness today

In an emergency session Saturday, Maryland Senators passed a bill (SB 1072) from Governor Martin O’Malley with a vote of 32-14 authorizing the purchase or use of eminent domain to acquire the Maryland-based assets of Magna Entertainment, which declared bankruptcy in March. Magna owns Laurel Park, Bowie Race Course Training Center, Pimlico Race Course and all rights and events associated with the Preakness Stakes. The Preakness is considered the “second jewel” of the “Triple Crown” of thoroughbred racing which also includes the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. The legislation authorizes the Maryland Economic Development Corporation to issue bonds in order to raise the funds necessary to acquire the properties and racing assets. Maryland’s governor and supporters of the emergency legislation are fearful that with Magna’s assets in bankruptcy the Preakness, one of the state’s most prestigious and profitable sporting events, might be lost to the highest bidder at auction and consequently relocated outside of the state’s borders. In 1984, Maryland’s General Assembly attempted to prevent a similar loss of sporting assets when the Baltimore Colts decided to move to Indianapolis. Opponents of the bill question whether the state should own the race tracks and the high cost of purchasing them (the property value alone is $68 million, as declared by Magna’s bankruptcy fillings). Others question the use of eminent domain to acquire a private business. Magna opposes the legislation seeking rather to auction its assets. Because SB 1072 is emergency legislation, three fifths majority (85 votes in favor) will be […]

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