One of the losers of the session

While HB 1313 was in Conference Committee the retroactive dates were changed from the time of the Kelo ruling by the Supreme Court to February 7th, the date the legislation was introduced. The change was made at the insistance of the Speaker and leaves Mark & Regina Meeks unprotected in their fight against the City of Stockbridge

Gov. Sonny Perdue and legislators came up with House Bill 1313, which had provisions that made it retroactive and would have helped Meeks with his court fight to keep his business.

A late Thursday afternoon change at the insistence of Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson changed the date of retroactivity. Now the law will apply to cases of eminent domain that began after the bill was introduced, Feb. 7.

Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem), who worked with Richardson on amending the bill, said writing laws that are retroactive creates legal conflicts that are difficult to resolve.

“You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game,” Fleming said.

Sen. John Wiles (R-Marietta), said, “I wish we could have helped the Meeks,” but didn’t think it could legally be done.

Meeks was visibly deflated. He carried on the expensive court fight, partially in hopes the legislature would help him.

“We spent $160,000 to get here,” he said.

“It’s disheartening and disingenuous to leave (retroactivity) in until the end of the last day, then say, ‘No,’ ” Meeks said.

9 comments

  1. larry smith says:

    “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” — Article 1, Section 9, U.S. Constitution.

    This is not an imaginary legal concern.

  2. JulieSMI says:

    Why doesn’t the Meeks guy just run for city Council?

    richardson really showed he was a lightweight this session. his mishandling of this bill is just another example.

  3. HJ Bailey says:

    And Julie, imagine the fact that Richardson thinks he is going to be governor! haha. That lightweight will be governor when hell freezes over which won’t be happening.

  4. Was Meeks lead to believe that this bill would help him? If the leadership was pretty sure this change was going to happen the whole time, it’s a bit unfair to use the victim to help your cause and then not help the victim.

  5. JaseLP says:

    Was Meeks lead to believe that this bill would help him?
    Yes, based on conversations I’ve had with him, that was his understanding.

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