UPDATE: In June 2017, the City of Spartanburg elected to settle this case for $500,000.* A ruling was not made by the S.C. Supreme Court; instead, the City decided to settle and move forward. This stands as a victory for personal property rights in South Carolina.
On February 8, 2017, Charles Hodge and T. Ryan Langley of Hodge & Langley Law Firm in Spartanburg will be arguing an important and high-interest case in front of the South Carolina Supreme Court.* You can watch the arguments streaming live online at 10:30 a.m. on February 8 at scetv.org.
The case concerns an incident in 2004 when the Spartanburg City Police used a bulldozer to strike both sides of the Fast Point Food Store on South Church Street in downtown Spartanburg in a hostage standoff.
After partially bulldozing the store, the City of Spartanburg condemned the Fast Point building and refused to pay any compensation to the innocent property owner who had had his business and his building destroyed through no fault of his own. In fact, rather than offering any reimbursement, the city fined the owner for not completing the destruction of the property, which now sits as an empty lot.
Hodge & Langley Law Firm is representing the property owner of the destroyed Fast Point Food Store. We believe the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution clearly requires the government to pay just compensation when it destroys private property. We further will argue that the long-honored purpose of the 5th Amendment is to prevent the government from requiring one individual citizen to bear the entire burden of a public cost that, in all fairness and justice, should be borne by the government.
The South Carolina Supreme Court is set to hear the case (for the second time) tomorrow, February 8, at 10:30 a.m.
Hodge & Langley Law Firm continues to fight for the rights of this citizen because, “In a free government, almost all other rights would become worthless if the government possessed an uncontrollable power over the private fortune of every citizen" (First English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Glendale v. LA. Cty., 482 U.S. 304, 315 (1987).
*Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.