National Law Firm Joins The Lech's Family Fight For Compensation After Police Destroy Their House

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by NewsVine_Mariyam, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. NewsVine_Mariyam
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    NewsVine_Mariyam Gold Member

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    The Institute For Justice

    Press Release
    | November 25, 2019
    Andrew Wimer
    Assistant Director of Communications

    [​IMG]
    Arlington, Va.—If the government needs to destroy your home to build a freeway or a school, the Constitution entitles you to just compensation. But what if the government needs to destroy your home for some other reason—say, to capture a fugitive who has randomly taken refuge in your house while fleeing the police? Does the government owe you anything?

    Shockingly, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held in a ruling this October that as long as the government uses its “police power” to destroy property, it cannot be required to provide compensation for that property under the U.S. Constitution’s Takings Clause. Today, the Institute for Justice, the nation’s premier defender of property rights, announced that it will file a petition for rehearing by the entire Tenth Circuit (known as rehearing en banc).

    “The simple rule of the Constitution is that the government cannot arbitrarily single out private citizens to bear the costs of something that should rightly be the burden of society as a whole,” explained IJ Attorney Jeffrey Redfern. “If the government requires a piece of property to be destroyed, then the government should pay for it—and that’s just as true regardless of whether the people doing the destroying are the local school board or the local police.”

    The case was brought by Leo, Alfonsina and John Lech, seeking compensation for the destruction of a home Leo and Alfonsina owned (and in which their son John lived with his own family) in Greenwood Village, Colo. In 2015, an armed shoplifter fleeing the police broke into the home (apparently at random) and refused to come out. After taking gunfire from the shoplifter, the police resorted to more strenuous means of attack, including explosives, high-caliber ammunition, and a battering ram mounted on a tank-like vehicle called a BearCat. The fugitive was apprehended, but the home was totaled.

    The Lechs’ case, originally brought by Colorado attorney Rachel Maxam, who continues to represent the family alongside IJ, argued that the complete destruction of the house was a “taking” that required compensation under the U.S. Constitution. But a three-judge panel disagreed, ruling that actions by law enforcement officials could never amount to a “taking,” no matter what, and so the appropriate amount of compensation was zero dollars.

    [​IMG]

    “The police are allowed to destroy property if they need to in order to do their jobs safely,” said IJ Senior Attorney Robert McNamara. “But if the government destroys someone’s property in order to benefit the public, it is only fair that the public rather than an innocent property owner pay for that benefit.”​

    Homeowners Seek Rehearing in House-Destruction Case - Institute for Justice
     
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  2. talksalot
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    talksalot VIP Member

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    Wow! That's just wrong.
     
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  3. Gdjjr
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    Gdjjr VIP Member

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    I posted about this a while back- I think our gov't was founded to help protect citizens from this type crap, not openly promote it, which, in essence, is what the ruling says- you know, general Welfare etc-
     
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  4. pknopp
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    pknopp Gold Member

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    This is the same kind of police actions that got innocent people killed in the UPS situation.

    The police are paid by the hour. Wait them out.
     
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  5. Jarlaxle
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    Jarlaxle Gold Member

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    But they wanted to use their cool TOYS!
     
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  6. toobfreak
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    toobfreak Gold Member

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    Bottom line: In a nation that can justify sending 37 BILLION overseas each year to foreign countries, the fact that the law does not provide for the repair of a few houses here and there (a few tens of thousands each?) that could be recouped from the criminal that caused it all, just goes to show once again how utterly corrupt and inept both our courts, justice system and law makers are!

    THAT SAID: had the guy broken into my house, it never would have come to this. The police never would have needed to destroy my house, I would have handed them a bullet-riddled corpse. Own guns. Stay safe.
     
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  7. C_Clayton_Jones
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    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

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    Here’s an idea: let’s wait for the en banc panel to rule before the libertarians have a major meltdown.
     
  8. Aletheia4u
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    Aletheia4u Gold Member

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    It depends on if the owner of the home was trying to prevent the fugitive from being captured while the police were in pursuit. If they were, that means that they will be treated as fugitives. Like a drug bust. If the officers have a warrant. That they can search and tear down walls or rip vehicles apart, if they believe that there is drugs being hidden some where on the property, and the owner of the property has a record. Or like if an officer pulls someone over for speeding. That the officer can search the vehicle because the driver has committed a crime by speeding, or if they are on parole or probation. But the officer cannot search the vehicle if the driver hasn't committed any violation. That the officer can only ask for permission from the driver to search the vehicle.
    But the homeowner has clearly committed a crime.


    Penalties for Harboring a Fugitive

    2010 Maryland Code :: CRIMINAL LAW :: TITLE 9 - CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION :: Subtitle 4 - Harboring, Escape, and Contraband :: Section 9-408 - Resisting or interfering with arrest.

    If the Police Take Your Property, Can You Get it Back? — Lawton & Cates, s.c. - Madison Wisconsin Attorneys
     
  9. Bob Blaylock
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    Bob Blaylock Gold Member

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    That seems to me like a very sound and solid principle, that certainly ought to apply here.

    I have wondered about an application of a similar principle, in a different context—jury duty. It seems to me that a person's time is his property, and that government ought not be able to take that, either, without just compensation. I recognize the need for juries, composed of common citizens, and the need of government to compel people to serve on juries. But the compensation to jurors is insulting—last I knew, on the order of five dollars a day. I do not know of anyone whose time is of that little value. Certainly, anyone who has a job will, by being compelled to serve on a jury, suffer lost wages that are at least an order of magnitude greater than that. It seems me me, seriously unjust, that individual jurors should bear so disproportionate a burden, for a purpose that of of broader benefit to all; that a juror who is employed should be compensated in an amount comparable to the wages that he loses by being prevented from working at his job; and in all other cases, be compensated at a rate no less than the minimum wage that applies in the jurisdiction in which he lives.
     
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  10. NewsVine_Mariyam
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    NewsVine_Mariyam Gold Member

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    Where is it indicated that the owner of this house committed a crime or attempted to harbor the armed shoplifter? I never saw anything that seemed to indicate this.
     
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