Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Insult To Injury In New London, Connecticut, Property Confiscation

USA Today has an interesting Editorial today concerning those home owners in New London, Connecticut whose properties (with the blessing of the US Supreme Court on June 23) are being condemned by the city "so a developer (can) build offices, a hotel and convention center."

It seems that the developer and the city feel that, since the condemnation order was issued in 2000, the home owners have legally been using city property since that date. Accordingly, they are considering charging them, retroactively, rent for the use of what were, until June 23, their own homes.

One woman,Susett Kelo (whose name was on the case heard by the Supreme Court) says that, according to the city development corporation, in addition to losing her house she could be billed as much as $57,000 for rent.

According to USA Today, "In a letter to the homeowners' lawyer a year ago, the development corporation justified its behaviorby saying, 'We know that your clients did not expect to ive in city-owned property for free.'"

And this while the confiscation was being appealed to the Supreme Court!

The editorial describes this behaviour as "chuztpah." I can think of other things to call it.