Legal Context: Property

We at The Sanders Firm, P.C., which is located in and serves the people in New York City, believe that the right to own property, and this does not merely mean land but all forms of property, is tied directly to our freedoms. Ownership of property and the idea that the property cannot be taken from us without just cause is outlined in the United States Constitution and specifically in the Fifth Amendment of the Bills of Rights. The right to own property gives us the freedom to control our lives and to live freely.

The Fifth Amendment

Property ownership rights are expressed in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. Within this amendment various legal rights are outlined, including those related to capital crime and criminal cases and the need for “due process” when someone is charged with a crime.

The amendment reads, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

It is the last part of the Fifth Amendment, which states. “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation,” that we find the important references to property.

This last part of the amendment notes that in essence our property, that is what we own, is ours and cannot be taken from us without “process of law.” It’s interesting to note that the founding fathers included “life, liberty, or property” in the same phrase, equating the ownership of property with freedom and life itself.

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment also outlines certain property rights. It says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This amendment protects our “houses, papers or effects” and “things” from unwarranted seizure. It also protects us from the same thing. Thus, in order for someone to take your property from you, they must have “just cause” and they must also follow “due process.”

Violation of Rights

When a client comes to The Sanders Firm, P.C. after their property rights have been violated they often have the feeling that they have lost an important part of their freedom. Their feeling is well founded as the confiscation of property takes away some of our individuality and it says that we have lost one of our basic rights.

Remedy and Justice

If you live in the New York City area and believe that your property rights, which are a part of your basic civil rights, have been violated contact The Sanders Firm, P.C. immediately. We will work ardently for you. We are your voice for justice.