Is the Kelo litigation over?

We all thought that Suzette Kelo’s fight in the courts to keep New London, Connecticut, from proceeding with its economic redevelopment project seeking to take her home for “economic redevelopment” ended in 2005 when the U.S. Supreme Court, after voting 5 to 4 to allow the city to take Kelo’s home, denied rehearing. But now it turns out that the last word has not yet been said in that litigation. While the issue of the right to take Kelo’s home was wending its way through the court system, New London environmentalists thought that the Fort Trumbull redevelopment project was not in compliance with the state environmental laws. So they sued, seeking an injunction to stop the project from going ahead.

The Connecticut trial court dismissed that action, but now the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed that dismissal. To the extent the plaintiffs sued in the wrong venue, that was not fatal. The court still had jurisdiction, and the case would be transferred to Hartford where it should have been filed to begin with. Also, the court held that the case was not moot, even though the city of New London had actually taken the homes of Suzette Kelo and her neighbors.

So it’s back to the drawing board, and it remains to be seen whether the Fort Trumbull project is legal. So stay tuned and see how it turns out. The case is Fort Trumbull Conservancy, LLC v. City of New London (Conn. 2997) 925 A.2d 292

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