Charlestown, Ind. Appeals Order Ending City’s Illegal Land Grab

On Friday, the city of Charlestown filed a notice of appeal with the Indiana Court of Appeals signaling that it will appeal Judge Jason Mount’s granting of a preliminary injunction against the city’s illegal and unconstitutional scheme to force people to sell their properties to developer John Neace at fire-sale prices. In response to the city’s filing, Institute for Justice Senior Attorney Anthony Sanders issued the following statement:

It is clear that Mayor Bob Hall is willing to do whatever it takes, including breaking the law, to kick people out of their homes to give the land to his private developer partner, John Neace. Judge Mount’s order granting a preliminary injunction was a sharp rebuke of the city’s scheme to use abusive and illegal property inspections to force below-market sales to Neace’s company Pleasant Ridge Redevelopment, LLC. Now Mayor Hall will likely spends tens—if not hundreds—of thousands of taxpayer dollars to pursue an appeal with little or no chance of succeeding. He continues to waste the city’s dwindling funds to benefit the interests of his partner, John Neace. Judge Mount’s decision clearly articulates that the city’s scheme is plainly illegal under city ordinances and violated the Pleasant Ridge homeowners’ constitutional rights. We are confident that the appeals court will look at the record in this case and see it for what it is: an unconstitutional attempt to use public power for private gain. We look forward to seeing the city in court.

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