Emmer said, “Despite the law’s guarantee of just compensation for our property, more than 1,200 Minnesota families have had their home equity stolen by state property seizures like the one Ms. Tyler experienced. We are proud to stand against this unconstitutional infringement and fight for the Fifth Amendment rights of every American.”
“It is disgraceful that state and county governments are able to seize a person’s home, sell it, and pocket the equity that rightfully belongs to the property owner. I am proud to join my colleagues in fighting for the rights of Ms. Tyler and the thousands of Americans who have suffered home equity theft at the hands of government greed,” said Rep. Finstad.
Rep. Fischbach said, “I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting Geraldine Tyler and all others who have been taken advantage of by bad government actors and I look forward to the Supreme Court reviewing this case.”
“I’m proud to join my colleagues in defending the Constitutional rights of Americans. The government shouldn’t be in the business of taking advantage of hard-working Americans,” said Rep. Stauber.
The case concerns Hennepin County’s failure to refund the surplus obtained from the 2015 sale of Tyler’s condo, which was seized by the county after she fell behind on property taxes.
More than 4,300 Minnesota properties were taken and sold by the state between the years of 2014 and 2020. Homeowners lost on average 92% of the value of their home above the tax debt owed.
In 2010, rising neighborhood crime forced now 94-year-old grandmother Geraldine Tyler from the one-bedroom condominium she owned in Minneapolis. Once Tyler moved to a safer area, the property taxes on her condominium piled up, accruing $2,300 in debt.
By 2015, the total amount owned to Hennepin County following debt, penalties, and fees was $15,000. Her condominium was seized and sold by Hennepin County. Instead of keeping only the amount owed and refunding the sale surplus, Hennepin County kept all $40,000 earned from the sale.
Tyler sued the county, arguing that these actions violated the Takings Clause, among other provisions, of the U.S. Constitution. While the Hennepin County District Court and 8th Circuit Court ruled in favor of Hennepin County, in January 2023 the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. The Supreme Court begins oral arguments on Tyler v. Hennepin County on April 26, 2023.
The Amicus Brief is available in full here.