Nevada court fight starts over eminent domain limits : Las Vegas (NV) Sun, 7/20/06

Associated Press

Various government entities and other groups and individuals went to court Thursday to block a ballot proposal to restrict land seizures by government agencies.

The Clark County District Court lawsuit seeks a finding that the Nevada Property Owners Bill of Rights proposal be declared illegal and kept off the November ballot. Advocates of the plan recently qualified for the ballot with 109,454 valid signatures. The minimum needed was 83,184.

"All of us who filed this lawsuit are deeply concerned about the devastating consequences that the implementation of this initiative would have," said Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury, who joined in the litigation.

"We all share the general public's concern about potential abuses of eminent domain in redevelopment cases, but the trial lawyers who authored the initiative are attempting to manipulate that concern to create a huge financial windfall for themselves," he added.

Woodbury said the plan would allow for "unlimited new lawsuits" that could be filed by lawyers who wouldn't face sanctions for frivolous actions - and would leave many state and local agencies in "grave financial difficulties."

Among entities that joined with Woodbury in filing the action are a group called Nevadans for the Protection of Property Rights Inc., Clark County, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Nevada Contractors Association, Associated General Contractors, Nevadans for Nevada, Southern Nevada Water Authority, Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.

Las Vegas Sun: http://www.lasvegassun.com