This lady in McKinney Texas had her house destroyed by the police who were trying to get the accused out of the house. They lobbed 30 tear gas canisters into the house, and destroyed her garage. She says she has 70k in damages. City refuses to pay. Police have Qualified Immunity. Her insurance refuses to pay. They have riders that do not pay out due to government damage.
She reached out to the Institute of justice and they really came through for her. They sued on Eminent Domain and the 5th Amendment. Her lawyer said the police used her house on behalf of the government and they owe her just compensation. She won the suit!
They are appealing in Texas, but the rest of the local governments in the country doesnt want the case appealed. They are worried this case will go to the Supreme Court and lose setting a Precedent. I certainly hope it does!
Destroying somebody’s house, even in the course of a legitimate police pursuit, is clearly a taking.
The 5th Amendment states:
nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Destroying such property for a public use (i.e. police pursuit) is the same outcome as if they had forcibly taken title to the property to build a public building. Either way, she is deprived of the use of the property and the value of the property.
They didn’t even take the perp’s body with them. They left that at the scene for her to deal with.
Glad to see the government forced to cough up and I hope this spreads nationwide. Sovereign immunity should not be a shield behind which governments can destroy private property at will and not pay for it.
The Fifth Amendment can and should apply in this situation and I am glad they broke this new legal ground.
The existence of the Fifth Amendment abrogates any State sovereign immunity in this situation.
The government seized control of the house for the public purpose of capturing the criminal (how else can they get the criminal). At that point (especially when they destroyed it during their seizure of it), they owed her compensation.
I hope this gets appealed all the way up to SCOTUS.
Unintended consiquenses: Criminals just look for nearest house to charge into – even if the residence are home. Cops won’t go in after them or try anything because they know they will be on the hook for damages. Criminals win again. YaY (I guess)
This is going to turn out just like pursuits. Criminals now know, all you gotta do is go into a residential area, or put lives in danger and the cops will stop the chase. So guess what criminals now do when they are lite up while driving?