New York Eminent Domain-Port Chester Apologizes
Port Chester Apology
The Village of Port Chester sincerely apologizes for violating the constitutional rights of local businessman Bill Brody, who has been fighting a nine-year battle with the Village over its use of eminent domain. The Village acknowledges the importance of this litigation and regrets the hardship it has caused Mr. Brody for the years he has had to fight to vindicate his rights.
Mr. Brody owned a large building and almost one acre of commercial property on South Main Street (U.S. 1) in the middle of downtown Port Chester. In July of 1999, the Village of Port Chester authorized the condemnation of Mr. Brody's property for the Village's Modified Marina Redevelopment Project without notifying him of his legal right to challenge that condemnation. The Village was following the procedures in New York's eminent domain law, as it existed at the time. The federal courts found that those procedures violated the constitution and that, as a result, Mr. Brody's property was taken without notice or an opportunity to fight the use of eminent domain.
Mr. Brody sued the Village in 2000. After he filed the lawsuit, the New York Legislature has rewritten the state law so that now everyone in New York gets better notice about the possibility of eminent domain and how they can challenge it. The decisions in the Brody case have been noted by other courts and have helped to protect the Due Process rights of people throughout the country.