From Racine County Eye:
Seven Mount Pleasant property owners have sued the village in federal court over how it is handling property acquisitions for Foxconn Technology Group.
The landowners who filed the lawsuit own property located within the footprint where Foxconn wants to build an LCD manufacturing facility. Expected to generate 10,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent positions, the $10 billion project is the largest economic investment in the state and one of the largest in U.S. history.
The property owners’ attorney Erik Olsen, of Eminent Domain Services LLC, filed the complaint in the federal court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The lawsuit, filed Monday, names the village and Village President David DeGroot as defendants.
Further, the complaint alleges that the Village of Mount Pleasant is: The case shows “violations of the Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to equal protection, private property, and due process,” the complaint states.
- acquiring the property owners’ land for “the benefit of a private corporation,”
- that the state has passed legislation allowing the project to skirt environmental impact studies and wetland permitting requirements,
- that village staff treated landowners differently by offering different purchase prices – some up to 10 times the value of their property – and
- it is acquiring property for a non-public purpose.
According to Eminent Domain Services:
Make sure you receive
Your property is being taken from you. It is property that you own, make monthly mortgage payments, pay property tax on and even cut the grass! Now, all of a sudden, the government or a for-profit utility company knocks on your door and tells you they are going to take all or some of the land. Many would agree that this doesn’t seem fair. However, this is the power of eminent domain.
While the prospect of eminent domain may seem daunting at first, you have a inherent Constitutional Right to receive “just compensation.” In fact, you have many rights under both state and federal law. Many times, however, you must take action to ensure that your rights are respected. Government and utility companies continue to stretch its use of eminent domain.
Make sure your rights are protected
The government, such as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and utility companies, such as American Transmission Company or ATC are very very well versed and experienced in eminent domain law. Their agents travel all over the state taking property from Wisconsin landowners. They are very good at this and frequently acquire property for less than fair market value.
Eminent Domain Services LLC are Wisconsin lawyers dedicated to defending Wisconsin landowner rights against the government and utility companies. Just as the government or utility company is well versed in eminent domain law–you need someone on your side to represent your interests.
We only represent property owners and do not do any work for government agencies, utility companies or other organizations who utilize the power of eminent domain. We are committed to helping Wisconsin property owners and ensure that they are treated fairly.
There are 7 Plaintiffs who are suing The Village of Mount Pleasant and David DeGroot in both his individual and official capacity.
The entire Complaint can be viewed by clicking on the link to the PDF Viewer: Jensen Complaint Main
According to the Complaint:
Of great concern to Residents should be the complete lack of potentially willful ignorance by the WI DNR of the future pollution problems and environmental degradation which will likely result from Foxconn:
In addition to the pollution and degradation of the environment by Foxconn, offers for purchase were based upon faulty logic and reasoning:
As for the Defendants, The Village of Mount Pleasant, and David DeGroot, they are alleged to have acted under the color of state law:
For the readers information – “Acting Under the Color of Law” is defined as:
“Color of law” refers to an appearance of legal power to act that may operate in violation of law. For example, if a Village President acts with the “color of law” authority to take property by Eminent Domain, the taking, if it is made without due regard for it’s ultimate use, may actually be in violation of law.
As the Village of Mount Pleasant and David DeGroot were being sued,land buying operatives for Foxconn were demanding that Tenants be given short notice and thrown out of their homes within 30 days!
From the Journal Sentinel:
After landlords started proceedings to evict four Sturtevant families on minimum notice to pave the way for land purchases by Foxconn Technology Group, the company took action to give the families more time to move following a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel inquiry about the situation.
Instead of the 28 days the tenants originally were granted in hand-delivered notices they received Thursday afternoon from two landlords — one of whom said he acted at Foxconn’s direction — the company said it will try to let the renters stay for at least 90 days.
Four families — two with school-age children and one with an adult woman and her 79-year-old mother on fixed incomes — rent houses on the land. Tenants said late last week that they were surprised and dismayed to be handed letters telling them they had to clear out by Jan. 31.
“I feel like I’m living in a nightmare right now,” Jennifer Le Viseur, who said she has rented her house on Braun Road for nearly 13 years, said on Friday. “… Like I’ve been slapped in the face.”
Also upset was Veronica Roussett, who lives nearby with her husband and their two daughters, who are 7 and 8 years old.
But after a reporter asked a Foxconn spokeswoman about the matter, Louis Woo, top assistant to company chairman Terry Gou, said by email that Foxconn will work to give the tenants at least 90 days to find new homes and to move.
Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos, Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.