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BROOKLYN     Press Release Main Page

For Immediate Release: June 6, 2007

Federal Court Rules That Goldstein v. Pataki
Eminent Domain Case Belongs In Federal Court,

But Dismisses Case Anyway

Plaintiffs Optimistic That They Will Prevail on Appeal

BROOKLYN, NY -- The Federal District Court in Brooklyn today ruled in favor of plaintiffs and rejected a prior court recommendation that the eminent domain lawsuit, Goldstein v. Pataki, belonged in state rather than federal court.

In that lawsuit, property owners and tenants in the footprint of the proposed "Atlantic Yards" project challenge the use of eminent domain to seize their homes and businesses to make way for the project, alleging that the takings violate the U.S. Constitution. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis disagreed with Magistrate Judge Robert Levy's February report and recommendation by ruling that federal court is the proper legal forum for the case. Judge Garaufis also ruled, however, that the plaintiffs' complaint is insufficient.

"We will appeal the ruling," said the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Matthew Brinckerhoff. "We are confident that the appellate court will allow this case to proceed to trial, at which the citizens of New York will finally learn the real reason plaintiffs' properties were selected to be forcibly taken, and why Ratner was chosen to reap an unprecedented financial windfall."

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn organized the Goldstein v. Pataki plaintiffs and lawsuit, and continues to raise the necessary funds for what is expected to be a long and drawn out legal fight.

"We will continue to pursue every single legal option available to the plaintiffs, wherever they lead us, to stop what we believe is a private taking in violation of the U.S. Constitution," said DDDB legal team coordinator Candace Carponter.

Plaintiffs in the case are 13 residential and business owners and rent-stabilized tenants located in the footprint of Forest City Ratner's "Atlantic Yards" plan. Defendants in the case are former Governor Pataki, the Empire State Development Corporation, Mayor Bloomberg and Forest City Ratner.

All legal briefs and decisions can be found at: http://www.dddb.net/php/reading/legal/eminentdomain

DEVELOP DON’T DESTROY BROOKLYN leads a broad-based community coalition
fighting for development that will unite our communities instead of dividing and destroying them