Speculations on the Limits of Legal Change, Mark Galanter hypothesizes
that the legal experience of the parties, which he
characterizes as “one shotters” and “repeat players,” plays a
fundamental role in their success in the legal system generally.
11 His conclusion about the systemic bias of the legal system
is every bit as applicable to the public nuisance laws that pit
the resources of powerful state actors against unorganized and
often economically disadvantaged defendants.
This Note proposes statutory reforms at the state and local
level to eliminate the undesirable legal and social consequences
of current uses of public nuisance statutes. In addition, this
Note sets forth an accompanying private attorney general prosecution
structure to reintroduce market mechanisms and prevent
abuse by overeager neighbors. Part I introduces the common
law origins of nuisance law, the evolution of the doctrine
in cities during the Progressive Era, and the usage of nuisance
law in the modern urban renewal context. Part II argues that
the current use of public nuisance law by cities as a civil injunctive
remedy is unsound in both its assumptions and methodology;
violative of modern takings jurisprudence; contrary
to economic efficiency; ineffective as an urban renewal strategy;
and unable to safeguard the vulnerable populations it claims to
Seiler, Bryan M. (2008). Moving from “Broken Windows” to Healthy Neighborhood Policy: Reforming Urban Nuisance Law in Public and Private Sectors. Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
professional paper for the Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree
Seiler, Bryan M..
Moving from “Broken Windows” to Healthy Neighborhood Policy: Reforming Urban Nuisance Law in Public and Private Sectors.
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
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