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Rather odd eminent domain case

Norwood, a city trying to unconstitutionally use eminent domain to take land from one party to turn over to a developer, has had an interesting turn of events:

After the jury was selected Monday, the judge ordered jurors be given a tour of the property to give them a better sense of its worth. Once inside the building, though, the jurors, court workers and attorneys got a surprise.

The owners had festooned the interior with signs, banners and a mannequin dressed in clothes attacking the government’s use of eminent domain to seize private property.

That was done, Burke and Powell argued Tuesday, to convince the jury to award Motz a higher price.

“(Motz’s) outrageous conduct was calculated to serve no legitimate purpose, but rather to illegitimate(ly) injure the City of Norwood’s position in front of the jury,” Powell and Burke wrote in their request for a mistrial.

Inside one room of the building, the owner posted editorial cartoons attacking Norwood’s use of eminent domain and a photo of a group of protestors in the legal fight over the issue.

The building’s back door, which jurors passed to get to the basement, bore a sign reading, “Government Quit Selling Us Out to Developers.”

In the basement, jurors saw a banner proclaiming “Fight Eminent Domain Abuse in Norwood” next to a mannequin dressed in a T-shirt that sported an anti-eminent domain message. The dummy also was holding a sign that read “Being Forced to Sell is Just Not Right.”

This resulted in a mistrial.

One Response to “Rather odd eminent domain case”

  1. Thibodeaux Says:

    “No legitimate purpose.” There’s that word again.