If you have dirt for sale and someone wants your dirt, then it would make sense they would have to pay a price to which both agree. But just because that would make sense, doesn't mean it's always the case.
Meet Chad Jarreau of Cut Off, Louisiana. He's a dirt farmer. In other words, he sells his dirt to others, typically for construction projects. The local flood control district took a bunch of his dirt to build a levee - certainly a worthy cause for flood prone areas. But they paid him only $1,326.
Jarreau contends they took dirt worth $164,000, so he took them to court. One court agreed. But with appeal after appeal, he ended up with less than $12,000.
This just doesn't seem right. it seems to us the flood control district could have bought dirt from someone else, if they didn't like his price. There is a lot of dirt just laying around. Unless it is a matter of public safety and there is no other solution, property owners should be able to say "No" to the government. No, you cannot have my property and that includes my dirt.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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