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January 8, 2007

In court papers, eminent domain fight gets feisty about blight

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder digests the legal filings in the case of Goldstein v. Pataki and provides a synopsis for those who are still trying to download the documents:

A fierce set of arguments has been launched in federal court, with the Empire State Development Corporation, Forest City Ratner, and city and state officials named as defendants in the Atlantic Yards eminent domain case calling for the lawsuit to be dismissed because, among other things, the courts grant broad discretion to governmental bodies determining blight.

In response, the 13 plaintiffs (property owners and renters) organized by Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn argue that the Supreme Court’s 2005 Kelo vs. New London decision, suggests such deference is legitimate only if the properties to be taken for development were identified before a developer is chosen—which didn’t happen with the Atlantic Yards projects.

This is a clash over a motion to dismiss, not the resolution of the case itself, and the plaintiffs argue that defendants’ motive or intent “is the issue” and must be determined in court.

The defendants will get a chance to respond in legal papers by Friday, with oral argument in the case scheduled for January 19 in federal court in Brooklyn.

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Posted by lumi at January 8, 2007 9:20 AM