Mesa, Arizona - Release: 3-11-2002
Evidentiary Hearing on Arizona Eminent Domain Case
1 p.m./Monday, March 11, 2002
Maricopa County Superior Court
Before the Honorable Robert D. Myers
East Court Building
101 W. Jefferson Street
Clint Bolick, Vice President, Institute for Justice
John Kramer, Vice President for Communications
Lisa Knepper, Communications Coordinator
Institute for Justice, (703) 682-9320
SUMMARY:Is the City of Mesa’s taking of Randy Bailey’s family-owned brake shop for the construction of a privately owned Ace Hardware store a public use? May the City immediately take possession of Bailey’s property (and then bulldoze it), or may Bailey hold onto his property as he continues to fight for his constitutionally enshrined property rights?
These are among the questions Judge Robert D. Myers will consider as he holds an evidentiary hearing on Monday in Courtroom 414 of the Maricopa County Superior Court.
The City of Mesa doesn’t want Mr. Bailey’s property for a public use project (like a post office or a bridge), but so it can hand that property over to another (more politically powerful) private owner for his exclusive use. If the City of Mesa is successful, it will raze Bailey’s brake shop and allow the construction of a new Ace Hardware store, thereby making any defense by Mr. Bailey of his property rights an afterthought to the destruction of his business. He could lose the foundational right of all Americans: to be safe on their own land, free from government abuse. The Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter, which represents Mr. Bailey for free, hopes that this case will be the beginning of the end of such abuses of property rights in the state.
If the City of Mesa is successful in this quick-take effort, it would essentially prevent litigation of the vitally important underlying issue that deprived Mr. Bailey of his property—whether such government-forced, private-to-private transfers of land are a proper use of government power.
The Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter is working hard to defend Randy Bailey and has hard evidence from the City that the hardware store owner initiated the redevelopment designation. On October 23, 2001, IJ filed papers in Maricopa County Superior Court challenging the City of Mesa’s efforts to take the brake shop.