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Back to Table of Contents, A Declaration of Universal Rights

Article 5 — Civil Government

Section 12: Transfer By Consent; Damage Of Property

No man's property shall be justly transferred to the civil government except for actual public use and by voluntary consent of the owner. No man's property shall be damaged by civil government ex­cept in actual defense of the enjoyment of life, liberty and property and in such cases the owner shall be compensated for loss.

The theory of transfer is not based on eminent domain, taxation or taking. it is based on contract between a willing buyer, in this case the state, and a willing seller. The contract may be for any agreed upon sale price and title passes in the usual manner. Though there may be a willing buyer and seller, the state may not pur­chase except if the land is put to an actual public use since that is the only jurisdictional basis for the state to own or use property. For instance, it may not own property for an agricultural or familial object.

The theory upon which the state may damage property lies in their obligation to protect life, liberty and property. Compensation for loss is required. No title is transferred.

Taking of property with just compensation for a public use is inconsistent with the inalienable right of property. If a road is needed and the people will not transfer by contract, then no road is built. The theory is that private roads are the norm, but that transfer by contract is acceptable. If a private road is made accessible to the public and the public is harmed in its use, then the rules of tort apply. The tendency will be to transfer the road to the civil government in order to be shielded from liability. Private toll roads are likely in this per­spective, though not civil government toll roads.

If in the case of a courthouse or jail no land becomes available by contract, then the people of that area go without one and suffer the consequences of failing to equip government with the necessary means to discharge its civil duties. This scenario is no different in kind than if the people fail to tax themselves sufficiently to pay for necessary police protection. Their failure creates no jurisdiction in the state to tax at a "minimal level" or take land to effect a minimum object. The civil government has no "right" to a minimal amount of property, either real or personal. The rule is self-government and if the people exercise that government badly, no juris­diction is thereby extended to the civil government to exercise it on their behalf.

One other possible scenario may develop. If a harbor is needed for naval defense of property, and the owners will not sell their land. They may buy adjacent land and build the necessary harbor at taxpayer's ex­pense. If no land is available, the possibility exists that no harbor would be available. In such a rare instance and after more than fair market value were offered and no willing buyers came forward, the civil government could with great expense construct an artificial harbor in a tidal basin or similar area. The extra expense, if ap­proved by the taxpayers, is the price of defending the inalienable right of property. It is not efficient to bar tak­ing, but it does tend to preserve liberty.

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