New London Development Corporation Breaks Eminent Domain Moratorium Pledge

Institute for Justice · September 13, 2005

Washington, D.C.—Breaking its word and defying both Governor M. Jodi Rell and the Connecticut legislature, the New London Development Corporation (NLDC) has apparently decided not to abide by a moratorium called for by both the governor and legislature. At least two residents in so-called Parcel 3 of the Fort Trumbull area on Monday, September 12, 2005, received notices (dated September 9, 2005) that they must vacate the properties in 90 days and must start paying rent to the NLDC during that period.

“The NLDC’s actions are breathtaking in their arrogance and defiance of the wishes of Governor Rell and Connecticut’s legislature,” said Scott Bullock, a senior attorney at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Justice, which represents the Fort Trumbull homeowners. “The NLDC is an unelected, unaccountable body that has been given the government’s eminent domain power and is out of control. It is time Connecticut’s political leaders at the state and local levels reel in this group that has been abusing the rights of New London property owners,” he added.

Less than two months ago, on July 26, 2005, the NLDC agreed to honor a moratorium called for by the Connecticut legislature and agreed not to seek to take possession of the homes while the legislature considered changing its eminent domain laws.

“Virtually the entire country is against the abuse of eminent domain by the NLDC, but its actions demonstrate that it could not care less what it has done to the rights of the citizenry and reputation of New London,” added Dana Berliner, another Institute senior attorney.

Berliner added that unless the NLDC agrees again to abide by the moratorium, Connecticut political leaders at either the state or local level must formally pass one to force the NLDC not to let anything happen to the homeowners while the Connecticut legislature considers changing its eminent domain laws.