Here's a beaut of an Eminent Domain horror story, from Stockton, California. In 2001, San Joaquin County education bureaucrats could stands no more looking at a big empty parcel on businessman Will Eisner's 96,000-square-foot lot, so it used eminent domain to buy 36,000 square feet of it for a new school. Then, Eisner
returned from a Hawaiian vacation last summer to a message on his answering machine. An official from the San Joaquin County Office of Education had some bad news: A construction team had accidentally built part of a new school on land Eisner owns and is leasing to a car dealership on East Hammer Lane near Tam O'Shanter Drive.
It was a 10,000-square-foot mistake. So what is the county doing to make up for it? You guessed it -- threatening to use Eminent Domain to seize the over-run property. Eisner, understandably, wants to tear the protruding bit down, and is asking local courts for permission. The county's reaction is classic:
"If there's somebody running around the community who wants to tear down much-needed schools," said Trent Allen, a spokesman for the county schools office, "that's their prerogative."