• Private ethane pipeline to Canada is not a "public use" or "public necessity," as required by Ohio Constitution Ruling will protect property rights of Ohio farmers and other rural property owners Bowling Green, OH - An Ohio court ruled that private pipeline companies cannot use eminent domain to forcibly seize Ohioans' private property for purely private pipeline projects. The ruling protects the property rights of dozens of Ohioans represented by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law and others along the pipeline route. However, given the escalation in private pipeline construction throughout Ohio and the nation, the decision is anticipated to have impact well beyond just the immediate parties or the Utopia Pipeline. In April 2016, Texas pipeline corporation Kinder Morgan,

  • 15 families unite and move to dismiss corporation's case attempting to take their land through eminent domain. Columbus, OH - The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law moved to dismiss 16 separate eminent domain cases filed in Bowling Green, Ohio by Texas pipeline company Kinder Morgan, explaining that purely private pipeline corporations' taking of land for their own gain violates the Ohio Constitution's strict protection of private property rights. The action is filed on behalf of 15 families in eastern Wood County who have owned and farmed the disputed land for generations, and oppose turning it over for the Utopia Pipeline, a private ethane pipeline running underground to a Canadian plastics factory. Kinder Morgan, a Texas-based corporation amongst the world's largest

  • Fourth Amendment prohibits state mandate to make business records, property, and inventory available to state agents "at all times" and "upon demand" Columbus, OH - A federal court ruled that State Agencies violate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches when they, without a warrant or any evidence of wrongdoing, investigate Ohio businesses by simply demanding private business records, property, and inventory. The ruling, made by Judge Watson of the Columbus division of the Southern District of Ohio, addressed regulations governing those purchasing gold, silver, and other precious metals under the Precious Metals Dealers Act ("PMDA"). However, its impact is likely to far exceed just the PMDA. Many Ohio businesses, particularly those requiring government licensing, face materially identical mandates. Accordingly,

  • Legal Center moves to protect Ohioans' property rights from unlawful searches and fees statewide Columbus, OH - The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law moved in federal court to immediately enjoin Ohio cities, and the Cities of Bedford and Oakwood in particular, from enforcing "point of sale" and "presale" programs that require citizens to endure and pass arbitrary and warrantless government inspections before they can sell their homes to even the most informed and willing buyers. Such municipal ordinances, in addition to restricting Ohioans' property rights, subject homeowners to open-ended warrantless searches of every interior and exterior space of a home, violating the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 14, Article I of the Ohio Constitution. The legal

  • Court's ruling places important limits on "quick-take" eminent domain power Columbus, OH - An Ohio Court ruled that the City of Perrysburg's attempt to immediately seize the land of eleven local homeowners exceeds its power, given the Ohio Constitution's protection of private property rights. The 1851 Center's victory curtails the abuse of a practice known as "quick-take," where governments claim to immediately own private property upon the filing of a Complaint, before any hearing or trial. While the Ohio Constitution sanctions this immense power for "making or repairing of roads," local governments have increasingly sought to use quick-take for many other purposes. In striking down the City's attempt to use quick-take here, Judge Woessner of the Wood County Probate Court