Mount Pleasant homeowners say government illegally taking their land for Foxconn

MOUNT PLEASANT - A dozen homeowners living in the area of the Foxconn development say the government is illegally taking their homes.

The homeowners say the Village of Mount Pleasant is violating their constitutional rights by incorrectly using eminent domain to obtain their property. 

"Property rights are one of the most basic rights that we have as Americans is the right to have private property and the right to have that property protected," said Erik Olsen, an attorney representing the homeowners.

Olsen said Mount Pleasant is trying to get the land, arguing it is using the space to put in public projects like roads and utilities. But he argues Foxconn, a private enterprise, is the only one benefiting.

"The law says you can't take it from person A and give it to person B. It doesn't explain what happens if you want to take it from person A and use it for a road to benefit person B and only person B," Olsen said.

The lawyer for the Village of Mount Pleasant, Alan Marcuvitz said this lawsuit will not stop the Foxconn project.

"We don't believe there is any merit to this lawsuit, and we will provide an appropriate response through the legal system," Marcuvitz said in a statement.

Mount Pleasant is acquiring 2,900 acres of land for Foxconn and 18 of those acres belong to homeowners involved in the lawsuit.  

"Obviously, this project is a big project. It is a project that is some ways anomalous in the history of Wisconsin and how it is being done," Olsen said. "Can it actually be done this way? We are going to find out."

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to block the Foxconn project permanently.

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