Website Offers Goldmine of Information On Eminent Domain Abuse & Reform

Newly Redesigned Castle Coalition Website Helps Journalists, Legislators & Homeowners

PRESS RELEASE: January 26, 2006

CONTACT:
John Kramer
Lisa Knepper
(703) 682-9320

Arlington, Va.—The Castle Coalition (a nationwide grassroots network of citizens determined to stop the abuse of eminent domain in their communities) today launched the most comprehensive website on the issue. The fully redesigned site (www.CastleCoalition.org) provides information and assistance to journalists, legislators, homeowners, students and scholars. CastleCoalition.org features an interactive map (powered by Google Maps) tracking condemnations for private development nationwide, an up-to-date catalog of eminent domain reform legislation at all levels of government, and a new online publication (CastleWatch) frequently updated with original content.

“The CastleCoalition.org website is ‘information central’ when it comes to the issue of eminent domain abuse and reform,” said Steven Anderson, Castle Coalition coordinator.  “Whether you’re a journalist on a deadline, a legislator looking for accurate information on the issue, or a homeowner who wants to defend your home from eminent domain for private use, this website will be a goldmine of information.”

“Visitors can access information about eminent domain on a state-by-state basis, and can sort research through a variety of criteria, including current controversies, past abuses, success stories and events as well as threatened and filed condemnations,” explained Bert Gall, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, which oversees the site.  The Institute for Justice litigated the Kelo v. City of New London case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 and published the first-ever national report on eminent domain abuse, documenting more than 10,000 examples of eminent domain for private use.  The website also enables citizens to easily contact their elected officials.

The site’s interactive map of the United States emphasizes just how prevalent eminent domain abuse is nationwide—and this is just the tip of the iceberg.  The Castle Coalition is currently working to verify thousands of other instances that will soon be posted on the map.

CastleWatch, a new online publication of the Castle Coalition, will provide readers with news and information about eminent domain abuse in communities nationwide. The regular feature “Reality Check” debunks the myths proffered by defenders of eminent domain abuse.  Other regular features include profiles of ordinary citizens battling to save their homes and small businesses from the government wrecking ball, eminent domain survival tips, and an ongoing photographic exposé of beautiful homes that have been declared “blighted” on bogus grounds so the government can seize them.

“The Castle Coalition’s new website is part of the Institute for Justice’s $3-million Hands Off My Home campaign to fight eminent domain abuse at the grassroots,” said Chip Mellor, president and general counsel of the Institute for Justice.  “Legislators from 40 states are now working on or have passed eminent domain reform.  We hope this site informs them and inspires them to create genuine reform that will protect homeowners in every state.”