New York Property Owners File Federal Lawsuit To Stop Abuse of Eminent Domain

Institute for Justice · October 4, 2000

Washington, D.C.-Based on the Institute for Justice’s filings in federal court today on behalf of property owners from across the New York metropolitan area whose properties are being threatened by eminent domain, Federal District Court Judge Harold Baer issued a temporary restraining order. The order protects the plaintiffs’ small businesses and church from being condemned or destroyed until the court hears the preliminary injunction motion. Plaintiffs have requested the preliminary injunction to protect their property until the lawsuit is decided. Specifically, the judge restrained Charles A. Gargano and the Village of Port Chester, respectively, “from condemning, destroying or altering the property of William V. Minnich, and William Brody.” He further restrained the Town of North Hempstead and the Town of North Hempstead Community Development Agency “from destroying or altering the condemned property?formerly owned by plaintiffs St. Luke’s Pentecostal Church, Inc.”

The preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled to be heard on Thursday, October 12, 2000, before Judge Baer.

The Institute for Justice represents:

  • William Minnich and his nephew, Bill Minnich, owners of Minic Custom Woodwork in East Harlem, a business that’s been in their family for more than 70 years. The Empire State Development Corporation, however, plans to condemn their building and transfer it to a private developer for a Home Depot parking lot.
  • Bill Brody, who purchased and renovated four adjacent buildings in Port Chester, New York, that the Village of Port Chester announced it would condemn and hand over to a private developer to turn into part of a Stop ’n Shop and its parking lot.
  • Pastor Fred Jenkins of St. Luke’s Pentecostal Church in the Town of North Hempstead. The Town moved to condemn the property after St. Luke’s spent hundreds of thousands of dollars purchasing the property, preparing for construction, and fighting the condemnation.