• 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,

  • 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,

  • Court considers whether Secretary of State Jon Husted should be required to compensate Ohioans whose First Amendment rights he violated Cincinnati, OH – On Thursday, December 10, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on whether government officials must reimburse the victims of their unconstitutional conduct for the costs and expenses imposed by that conduct. In late 2013, federal judge Michael Watson sided with the 1851 Center in Citizens in Charge v. Husted, determining that a “residency requirement” reenacted through Senate Bill 47 violated Ohioans’ First Amendment rights by prohibiting them from working with out-of-state petition circulators on their initiative. Thereafter, the Ohio Attorney General insisted that the Secretary of State Husted was nevertheless “immune” from damages for

  • Indian Hill Board of Education raised taxes without a vote, refused to refund money Cincinnati, OH - After a five-plus year legal battle concluded with an Ohio Court denying all of its objections, the Indian Hill Exempted Village School District Board of Education finally conceded that it must return the $5.5 million that it illegally assessed taxpayers after raising taxes without a public vote in 2010. The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law's victory on behalf of a certified class of all school district property taxpayers comes nearly one year after the 1851 Center prevailed in striking down the tax increase before the Ohio Supreme Court. After the Court's unanimous December 2014 decision, the school district still refused to return the

  • Fourth Amendment secures property rights of landlords from unlawful searches and occupational licensing regulations in Ohio and nationwide Columbus, OH – The Southern District of Ohio ruled that the City of Portsmouth’s occupational licensing requirements imposed upon landlords - - rental property inspections and licensing fees - - violates the Fourth Amendment to the United State Constitution. The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law’s victory on behalf of Portsmouth rental property owners Ron Baker, Nancy Ross, Thomas Howard, and Darren Oliver means that indiscriminate and warrantless government inspections of rental properties are unconstitutional nationwide, and that unlawfully-extracted “rental inspection fees” must be returned to the rental property owners who paid them. These property owners had long rented their property in Portsmouth