Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MDHA v Ford hearing on Friday

No word from MDHA on what happened to that compromise they said had been worked out between them and Joy Ford of Country International Records, but this press release from the Institute for Justice reminds folks that there was no compromise and there is an important hearing is THIS Friday in room 510 of the Nashville Metro Courthouse.

This is an important step in this effort to save everyone's property from government takeover. The city's only focused on the increased tax revenue they hope to get from the property

  • if Lionstone Group develops the property as promised,
  • if their business plan is a success and
  • if Meto hasn't given the farm away via tax incentives.
Citizens should support Joy Ford in her effort to save her property because in saving hers, we save ours from being stolen in a similar fashion some day down the road. Please arrange your schedule so that you can be in that courtroom Friday morning at 9:00. If you're new to this strong arm tactic of the Metro government please read through the old posts on this Eminent Domain issue and see that the city isn't condemning blighted property it's stealing a small business woman's land in order to line the pockets of Metro and developer Lionstone Group.


First Court Hearing in Joy Ford Eminent Domain Case

Nashville Redevelopment Agency Seeks to Deny
Joy Ford Her Day in Court by Asking Judge
To Hand Over Her Property Without Discovery or a Trial

9 a.m./Friday, August 29, 2008

Courtroom of Judge Barbara Haynes,
Room 510, 3rd Circuit Court
Metropolitan Courthouse
1 Public Square
Nashville, Tennessee 37201

John Kramer, Vice President for Communications, (703) 682-9320

On Friday, August 29, at 9 a.m., Joy Ford will appear in court for the first time, along with her lawyers from the Institute for Justice, to fight to save her small country music recording and publishing business from an illegal and unconstitutional eminent domain action.

In June 2008, Nashville’s redevelopment agency, Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA), filed a condemnation petition against Country International Records located on storied Music Row. MDHA wants to give the property to a Houston-based private developer to put up a generic office building.

Now, in an audacious and unfounded move, MDHA’s lawyers—who are being paid by the private developer that will benefit from the condemnation—have filed a “motion for judgment on the pleadings,” asking the court to hand over Ford’s property on the basis of the four-page condemnation petition filed by the agency. MDHA seeks to deny Ford any discovery in the case and wants the judge to order possession immediately rather than hold a trial and hear evidence.

“If MDHA gets its way, it will become impossible for any home or small business owner in Tennessee to prevail against an abuse of eminent domain,” said Scott Bullock, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, a national non-profit, public interest law firm located in Arlington, Va., that serves as the nation’s leading legal advocate against eminent domain abuse.

Bullock added, “Courts should actually review evidence in eminent domain cases rather than merely rubber-stamping what the agency wants. We are confident MDHA’s motion will fail.” Bullock argued the Kelo v. New London eminent domain case before the U.S. Supreme Court and was co-counsel in the first post-Kelo state supreme court case that ended eminent domain for private gain in Ohio.

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[NOTE: To arrange interviews on this subject, call John Kramer, the Institute for Justice’s vice president for communications, at (703) 682-9320 ext. 205 or in the evening/weekend at (703) 587-1992.]

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