Sovereign Immunity? No Problem, Lets try Eminent Domain

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!


Interesting. Thanks for sharing these.


Just a legal nitpick here.

Substitute sovereign immunity for qualified immunity.

Otherwise, good post.



that has got to be the stupidest court decision I have ever seen.

I hope this woman prevails.

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.


this is idiotic. The government didn’t use her house, the criminal did.

I have to agree with Safiel here.

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.

What kind of Keystone Kops nonsense was this!?

For the coroner to deal with would be more likely.

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)

Which is worse.

An innocent punished or a guilty not punished?


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?

Well, something needs to be done. Maybe require the insurance company to cover damages?


You didn’t answer his question.


Or maybe instead of lobbing tons of tear gas into a house, they simply wait outside and starve the criminal out instead?


Why should the insurance company cover it?

Government caused the damage, make them pay.


Well, look into how insurance works, then come back and ask your question again.

Make criminals pay. Set restitution on ALL criminals so they pay into a fund (above and beyond their restitution). Payment comes from that fund.

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The “government” used her house to apprehend the criminal. They did not ask her. They took it. She should be compensated.


That’s a great idea.

What would we call such a program?


Does asset forfeiture work for you guys?

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