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More Eminent Domain Abuse

Another case of the powers that be using eminent domain to handle zoning and code issues:

Boca Raton city government is taking steps to permanently eliminate problems with a trash-strewn home on Palmetto Park Road.

The City Council this week initiated eminent domain proceedings against Albert Schulz, 57, the owner of a house at 600 W. Palmetto Park Road that city officials say has been a filth problem for about nine years.

Boca cannot foreclose on the house because it has a homestead exemption. So it chose the more aggressive step of taking the dwelling by eminent domain.

I’m not sure what a homestead exemption is but it seems that enforcing zoning ordinances is more appropriate.

3 Responses to “More Eminent Domain Abuse”

  1. Andrew Upson Says:

    IIRC the homestead exemption is a clause that allows a homeowner to keep shield their house from seizure in a bankruptcy. IOW, if you screw up and default on your debts, you can keep your home, free and clear, by filing personal bankruptcy. It’s the same clause that’s been (ab??)used by execs from Enron, Tyco, Worldcom, ad nauseum to protect millions of dollars from seizure to pay restitution for their crimes.

  2. Manish Says:

    Presumably this town is trying to forclose on the guy’s house to pay off the fines he owes them, but can’t because you can’t take someones home in bankrupcy proceedings.

  3. Heartless Libertarian Says:

    Would those be zoning ordinances or health/fire/safety codes?

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