(Kermitt Waters) – Section 3.3 of AB 380 presented to the 2017 Nevada Legislature provides that if the government uses, cleans or maintains a Nevada landowner’s private property for 5 years, the government obtains a “vested” right to continue using the Landowner’s property forever.
This means that the government can simply use or “clean” a Nevada landowner’s property for 5 years and then the government becomes the owner of the property without ever having to pay for the property.
There is absolutely no good policy reason why the government should be permitted to “take” private property without payment of just compensation – even if the government uses the property for 5 years.
The United States and Nevada State Constitutions provide that just compensation shall be paid when private property is taken for a public use. There is no exception in either the United States or Nevada Constitutions allowing private property to be taken without payment of just compensation because the government has used the property for 5 years.
The Law Offices of Kermitt L. Waters has been in contact with several legislators to stop passage of section 3.3 of AB 380, explaining that there is absolutely no good reason the government should ever be permitted to take private property from Nevada landowners without paying for the property.
Even so, the Assembly Judiciary Committee voted last week to move the bill forward for a vote on the Assembly floor. If AB 380 is approved in the Assembly, it will move to the Senate for approval and then to the Governor for his signature.
The extremely troubling text from AB 380 provides as follows:
“Where a governmental entity is using private land by an expenditure of public money on visible improvements on or across such lands or on the cleaning or maintenance related to the public use of such land in such a manner so that the owner knows or should have known that the public is making such use of his or her land, such use, including any public use reasonably related to the purposes of such improvement, in the absence of either express permission by the owner to continue such use or the taking by the owner of reasonable steps to enjoin, remove or prohibit such use, shall after 5 years ripen to confer upon the governmental entity a vested right to continue such use if the owner opens the owner’s land to use by the public.”
In 2006 and 2008 Nevada passed by an overwhelming majority of approximately 70% of the voters the Peoples Initiative to Stop the Taking of Our Land (PISTOL). This was a referendum by the people of the State of Nevada in opposition to government abuse in eminent domain taking cases.
AB 380 3.3 is contrary to the will of the people of the State of Nevada as it seeks to erase the protections provided in PISTOL.
For further information please contact Kermitt L. Waters at (702) 499-9832.