County of Wayne v. Hathcock

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County of Wayne v. Hathcock, Supreme Court of MI, 2004 Whether the condemnations and subsequent transfer of the properties Issue Reasoning
The Pinnacle project would benefit the public.  Will bring jobs  Will add tax revenue  Will increase the resources available for public services  Reinvigorate the local economy Adopted the RYAN criteria. Poletown overruled.

Exceptions where private-to-private transfer is OK: 1. Public necessity of extreme sort a. Ex: Hwy, railrods, canals – without eminent domain these essential improvements would not exist. b. Limited to those enterprises generating public benefit and the land to be assembled can be achieved by coordination of a central gov. 2. Continuing accountability to the public a. Ex: regulation; State must have a voice is the manner in which the public may avail itself of that use. 3. Selection of land according to facts of independent public significance a. Determination of the specific land to be condemned is made without reference to the private interests of a corporation. b. The determination is based upon criteria related to the public interest.

Pursuant to an agreement with the FAA, the Wayne county was to put $21Mil grant to economically productive use any property acquired through the noise abatement program. The county developed the idea for a business and technology park on 1300 acres to be called the Pinnacle project. The county was to acquire properties and turn it over to private entities for development. The county bought some of the land and tried to acquire the rest through eminent domain and brought this action.

The underlying purposes for resorting to condemnation, rather than the subsequent use of condemned land, must satisfy the Constitution’s public use requirement.  Ex: to remove unfit housing and advance public health and safety

Dissent Held Procedure P argues D argues
None of the exceptions to private-to-private transfers are applicable here. Condemnations proposed do not pass constitutional muster because they do not advance a public use.

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