Poletown Neighborhood Council v. City of Detroit

304 N.W.2d 455 (1981)

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Poletown Neighborhood Council v. City of Detroit

Michigan Supreme Court
304 N.W.2d 455 (1981)

  • Written by Haley Gintis, JD
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Facts

In response to poor economic conditions, increased unemployment, and slow industrial development, the Detroit Economic Development Corporation (corporation) proposed to obtain land by condemnation and convey it to General Motors Corporation (GM) to build an assembly plant. The Poletown Neighborhood Council (council) (plaintiff) and other residents who lived on the land brought a suit against the City of Detroit (city) (defendant). The council argued that the city’s eminent-domain authority did not allow it to convey condemned land to a private actor because such conduct constituted a taking for private use. The council based its argument on the premise that GM would receive the primary benefit of the condemnation and the benefit to the public would be incidental. In response to the council’s argument, the city argued that the condemnation was for the predominant public purpose of providing the city with an economic boost and employment opportunities. The lower court returned a verdict for the city. The matter was appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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