The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear the eminent domain case brought by opponents of the Atlantic Yards development. The 11 property owners now plan to take the case to New York State Court. The plaintiffs have argued that the taking of land for Forest City Ratner by eminent domain would be unconstitutional. Per a press release from Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn issued immediately after the decision:
The Court’s denial of the petition in Goldstein et al. v. Pataki et al. does not affirm or deny the plaintiffs’ arguments, nor is it the end of the legal road for the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs, fighting to prevent the seizure of their homes and businesses for the benefit of Forest City Ratner, will now pursue their eminent domain challenge in state court under New York State law.There are potentially still many, many more months of litigation ahead in the case. Here is an excerpt from the release:
"We are, of course, disappointed that the Court declined our request to hear this important case. This is not, however, a ruling on the merits of our claims. Our claims remain sound. New York State law, and the state constitution, prohibit the government from taking private homes and businesses simply because a powerful developer demands it. Yet, that is what has happened. Recent events have revealed that the public, and the Public Authorities Control Board were sold a bill of goods by Ratner and the Empire State Development Corporation. We now know that Ratner’s project will cost the public much more than it will ever receive," said lead attorney Matthew Brinckerhoff of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP. "Now we will turn to the state courts to vindicate our rights. We will soon file an action in New York state court under state law as we were expressly permitted to do by the rulings of the federal courts." Besides the eleven plaintiffs on Goldstein et al. v. Pataki et al. there are approximately 30 other residents and business owners in the project’s footprint whose properties would be seized for Forest City Ratner’s benefit.
Ironically, today is the 3rd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s extremely controversial 5-4 decision in the eminent domain case Kelo v. The City of New London. The plaintiffs in the Brooklyn case did not seek to overturn Kelo, but rather utilize the majority and concurring opinions to make their case.
The petition and all lower court briefs and decisions in Goldstein et al v. Pataki et al can be found at: http://www.dddb.net/eminentdomain.
There is other litigation still in the courts too. More reactions to follow.
· Breaking CurbedWire: Main Atlantic Yards Suit Dismissed [Curbed]