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New York lawyers call for commission to study eminent domain

Bar association says law changes require more study

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The New York State Bar Association is calling upon the state Legislature to set up a temporary commission to study proposed changed to eminent domain laws in the state. A. Vincent Buzard, president of the association, submitted testimony to the state's Senate Judiciary Committee this month requesting that the state refrain from changing existing law until the proposed commission completes its review. A U.S. Supreme Court decision in an eminent domain case, Kelo vs. City of New London, provoked public outcry and prompted several states to strengthen homeowner protections in eminent domain laws. The Kelo case found that a local government acted legally in using eminent domain to purchase private property and allow a private developer to build on that land. "Kelo is based on established legal precedent, it is not a revolutionary departure from existing law, and, in fact, would have been decided the same under New York law," Buzard wrote in his testimony. He also stated, "The law in this a...