Property Rights

Policy Briefs:

Ripe for Reform: Eminent Domain Law In Arkansas by Dr. Ilya Somin

This policy brief explores several aspects of Arkansas’s eminent domain laws. One of these aspects is the standard of just compensation in Arkansas as “fair market value.” This review argues that Arkansas law may fail to take into account an owner’s “subjective value” of the property. It also addresses the eminent domain power conferred upon private pipeline companies that transport oil and natural gas through the state. There is a lack of clarity when it comes to pipelines that do not serve the general public but rather “selected private customers of the firm.” Finally, blight condemnations are discussed. In the brief, Somin suggests that Arkansas’s definition of blight may be so broad that “almost any feature that impedes development in some way can be characterized as an ‘economic or social liability’ or as detrimental to public welfare” and could be considered blighted. This policy brief is also available as an audio version at the bottom of the page.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent by Maleka Momand.

This policy brief looks at the process of civil asset forfeiture in Arkansas. This practice is primarily used to combat drug trafficking, but police are allowed to seize any asset if they suspect it is connected with criminal activity. Under state law, agencies are allowed to keep 100 percent of seized property for use at the agency’s discretion. This leaves police with a perverse incentive, as they keep any assets they seize and there is often a low standard of proof in forfeiture litigation. This puts ordinary and potentially innocent Arkansans at risk of having their property taken away and never returned. Under civil asset forfeiture, they are guilty until proven innocent.

Blog Posts:

Civil Asset Forfeiture in Arkansas –   by Maleka Momand – posted on the ACRE Review on May 31, 2017.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Needs More Accountability –  by Caleb Taylor – posted on the ACRE Review on November 28, 2017.

How to Reform Eminent Domain in Arkansas –  by Ashley Wofford – posted on the ACRE Review on May 11, 2018.

Fair Market Value Compensation: Is this the right standard? –  by Ashley Wofford – posted on the ACRE Review on May 17, 2018.

Blurring the Lines of Public Use: Pipeline Takings –  by Ashley Wofford – posted on the ACRE Review on May 25, 2018.

Up for Grabs: Potential for Abuse in Blight Condemnations –  by Ashley Wofford – posted on the ACRE Review on June 1, 2018.