Eminent Domain

Missouri Land-Grab Shot Down in Defeat for Eminent Domain

Post-Kelo law blocked the attempted theft


Last week, the Missouri Supreme Court shot down a port authority's attempt to seize 30 acres of land in Scott County from owners Velma Jackson and Alicia Seabaugh.

Officials from the Southeast Missouri Regional Port Authority wanted to use eminent domain to acquire the property, undeveloped land along the Mississippi River, and lease it to a private company. The company wanted the property so it could transfer oil from North Dakota by rail onto river barges.

The unanimous decision hinged on the court's interpretation of a 2006 law limiting the use of condemnation for economic development.