Orbital Development of Carson City, Nevada announced that legal action was begun in its "Eros Project" against the United States by filing a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment in Federal Court today.
Asteroid 433, Eros is lawfully owned by Gregory W. Nemitz since March 3, 2000. Orbital Development is managing the "Eros Project" for Nemitz. The Project was begun to require the US government to officially recognize his ownership of that asteroid. Nemitz estimates his property's value to be more than US$10 trillion.
When NASA permanently landed its NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft on Eros on February 12, 2001, Nemitz sent an invoice to NASA for parking and storage fees of $20, to pay for one full century of rent. Citing its interpretation of the United Nations' Outer Space Treaty of 1967, NASA refused to pay the invoiced amount.
Official Notice was then sent to the United States Department of State informing the agency that NASA had exceeded its authority and had denied Nemitz of his Rights. The Department of State officially responded on August 15, 2003 by also citing its interpretation of the Treaty, that Nemitz's "claim is without legal basis."
Nemitz asserts in the Court filings that "no treaty has ever abrogated, overthrown, or amended constitutional law" The suit is seeking $1,107 in damages, rulings to overturn the NASA and Department of State conclusions, and a ruling that Nemitz's Claim to ownership of the asteroid is a Lawful and valid Claim.
The central issue of the case submitted to the Court is "Treaty vs. the Natural, Inherent Rights of Man" to acquire and own property. The side issue of whether actual possession is required prior recognized ownership, is moot in this regard. US District Judge Howard D. McKibben has been assigned to the action.
When asked why he is taking the United States Government court, Nemitz stated, "As basic principle, the very foundation of all government action resides in the social contract among those governed, which allows their government officials to act towards protecting individual and property rights.
"If any government, or treaty to which a government adheres, rules that private ownership of private property in Space unlawful, they will have lost all their legitimate footing to be a government of, for, and by the People who view Space as a Frontier. We need to know where the US stands on this critical issue."
On November 21, 2003, Nemitz will speak about Property Rights in Space and Space Property Law at the International Lunar Conference in Hawaii. His presentation is titled, "Developing Property Claims and Asteroid Eros".
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The Safety Nannies Take Over
Manoa - Nov 04, 2003
A few days ago a parcel arrived on my front porch writes Jeffrey F. Bell. It contained a new high-intensity halogen reading lamp to replace one that died after 13 years of faithful service. When unpacked, it proved to have a sinister new feature: a six-inch-long steel loop thrusting menacingly downward from the bulb housing. The Safety Nannies had struck again!
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