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Now The City of New London Wants $57,000 Back Rent From Kelo!

[If you'll pardon the language...] Somebody just needs bitchslap the New London city council.

City wants back rent from Kelo residents
Expects homeowners who lost case to pay hundreds of thousands

In the adding insult to injury category, the city officials that triumphed over a group of Connecticut homeowners in a landmark Supreme Court property-rights case are expecting those residents to pay the local government rent dating back to the year 2000.

The city now says that since it won the case, the homeowners actually have been living on city property since 2000 when it first began condemnation procedures against them, so they must pay back rent - to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It's a new definition of chutzpah: Confiscate land and charge back rent for the years the owners fought confiscation," wrote Jonathan O'Connell in the Fairfield County Weekly.

Not only is the city demanding rent, but the buyout offers on the table are based on the market rate as it was in 2000, before most of the growth in the current real-estate bubble.

The New London Development Corporation, the semi-public organization hired by the city to facilitate the deal, first addressed the rent issue in a June 2004 letter to residents, calling the alleged debt retroactive "use and occupancy" payments.

"We know your clients did not expect to live in city-owned property for free, or rent out that property and pocket the profits, if they ultimately lost the case," the agency said. It warned that "this problem will only get worse with the passage of time," and that the city was prepared to sue for the money if need be.

The Kelo case is named after Susette Kelo, who owns a single-family house in New London with her husband. Kelo was told she would owe around $57,000 in rent.

"I'd leave here broke," Kelo told the weekly. "I wouldn't have a home or any money to get one. I could probably get a large-size refrigerator box and live under the bridge."

Matt Dery owns four houses on the building site, including the home his 87-year-old mother was born in and still lives in. Dery's past-due rent, according to the city, exceeds $300,000.

It remains to be seen if a suit will be filed against the residents.

Ok the last line is important... The out of control politicians pushing this thing (I can only hope) will probably suffer a backlash from local residents. Although so far I haven't heard any.

People love to make comparisons to things being like Hitler or Soviet Russia and rarely do those caparisons hit the mark. But if this doesn't reek of something the Soviets did, I don't know what does.


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Comments (7)

No, but it is like what the... (Below threshold)

No, but it is like what the Israeli government is doing to the Jewish residents of Gaza. They're forcibly kicked out of their homes and the money used to pay for their temporary housing as well as the moving costs is taken from their compensation payments.

Leaving aside the questions... (Below threshold)

Leaving aside the questions of morality and legality, how colossally stupid does the town government have to be to try something like this on the heals of a SCOTUS ruling that started a wave of public outrage over abuse of eminent domain.

The Open Source Amendment Project Petition is available for signing.

Shouldn't that city leaders... (Below threshold)

Shouldn't that city leadership be recalled by now? I don't know what has prevented this. Is it indifference. Is it that there's some local resentment to that neighborhood? I just don't understand.

This is extortion of the wo... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

This is extortion of the worst kind. These politicians are sealing their own fate. By even raising the issue, the citizenry should respond by marching on City Hall with torches and pitchforks and destroying the monster.

This is what is called an a... (Below threshold)

This is what is called an attempt to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

"The spirit of resistance t... (Below threshold)
Cardinals Nation:

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere." --Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1787.

If ever there was one of Mr. Jefferson's "certain occassions", this is it.

Pfizer is the company that ... (Below threshold)

Pfizer is the company that benefits from this eminent domain seizure, I'm really surprised there hasn't been backlash against this company or any other that uses redevelopment by eminent domain as a facilities strategy.






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