Monroe County community files suit in eminent domain case: San Jose CA Mercury-News, 9/24/06

Associated Press

[Erie Township MI] and some residents have sued a railroad operator, seeking a court order to determine whether US Rail Corp. has the right to force the sale of land for a large rail yard.

Erie Township filed the lawsuit Friday in Monroe County Circuit Court asking the court to declare that US Rail and its representatives do not have the right to condemn the property and force a sale.

Toledo, Ohio-based US Rail wants to secure about 300 acres in the township for the rail facility and has indicated that residents who don't sell might have their land taken through eminent domain.

"What we're asking the judge to say is, 'if you don't have the right of eminent domain, stop threatening to use it,'" Gary Wilmoth, one of the major landowners in the targeted area, told The Monroe Evening News.

A person who answered the telephone Sunday at US Rail's offices said no one was available to comment on the case.

The company has said it reduced the amount of land needed for the project to avoid using eminent domain.

San Jose CA Mercury-News: http://www.mercurynews.com