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Kelo v. City of New London: The Case Study


Kelo v. New London City, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) was a court case chosen by the United States High Court concerning the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one title holder to another to enhance economic development. The allegation emanated from the conviction by Connecticut town in London, of confidentially owned actual property with the intention that it could be utilized as part of a complete redevelopment plot. This guaranteed 3,169 new occupations and $1.2 million per year in tax takings.

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New London, a town in Connecticut, used its prominent domain power to seize individual property to put on the market for individual developers. The city stated that building up the land would generate jobs and boost tax revenues. Kelo Susette and the other people whose assets were seized filed a suit for New London in the state quad. The owners of the property claimed that the city went against the Fifth Amendment’s clause of takings. This assured that the authority would not take individual property for communal use without fair compensation.

In particular, the property owners claimed that taking personal property to put up for sale to personal developers was not civic use. The Connecticut high court governed New London. The city, in the end, agreed to move Sussete Kelo’s quarters to a new site and to pay considerable extra compensation to other property holders. The developer was not able to receive financing and, therefore, had to leave the redevelopment plan. The land was left empty (Scheb, 2007).


Does a city contravene the Fifth Amendment’s Clause of takings if the city seized personal property and trades it for personal development, with the anticipations that the development will assist the city’s poor economy?


The Court is interpreting the US constitution Amendment Clause specifically the Fifth Amendment Taking’s Clause.


The quad held in a 5-4 verdict that the overall benefits the people got from economic expansion met the requirements of the redevelopment plans. This was termed as a permissible communal use as indicated by the Takings Section of the Fifth Alteration. The taking of assets by the government from one individual owner to offer it to another with efforts to enhance economic development comprises of a tolerable public use as in the Fifth Amendment. This has been affirmed by the High Court of Connecticut. The states high court held that the use of prominent domain for financial development did not go against the public use sections of the state and national constitutions. It held that if an economic plan generates new jobs, raises tax and other city returns, and rejuvenates a poor urban area, then the plan meets the requirements needed for it to be recognized as a public use. The court also controlled the government designation of its prominent realm power to a personal entity.

In a 5-4 view presented by Justice Stevens John Paul, the majority supported that the towns taking of personal property to trade for personal and confidential development met the requirements as a “public use” contained in the significance of the takings section. The city was not getting hold of the land merely to benefit a specific group of individuals, but was going after an economic development strategy. Such validations for land takings according to the majority claims should be offered deference. The takings here met the requirements for public use even though the land was not to be utilized by the public. The Fifth Amendment did not need factual, public utilization as public purpose (Ackerman & Dynkowski, 2006).

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Ackerman, T. A., & Dynkowski, W. D. (2006). Current condemnation law: takings, compensation and benefits. Chicago, IL: American Bar Association.

Scheb, J. M. (2007). American constitutional law: civil rights and liberties. Princeton: Cengage learning.

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