Woman, 93, Continues Eminent Domain Battle

HAMPTON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Officials took a woman’s property by eminent domain, but they didn’t realize who they were up against.

Gladys Auld, 93, has waged a one-woman war against Hampton Township and she just won a significant battle.

This week, a panel of judges ruled that Hampton Township low-balled her when they took her land.

The piece of property on Route 8 has been in the Auld family for more than 100 years. It’s where family patriarch, John Auld, built a lumber business and hardware store.

So, when Hampton Township moved to take the land for a flood abatement project, Gladys Auld put up a fight.

“They were just waiting for me to roll over and die because of my age, but I’m not a [going to] until the good Lord wants me,” she said.

Over Auld’s objections, Hampton Township did take the property with its powers of eminent domain.

She won’t be getting the property back, but she will be getting quite a bit more money than the township originally offered.

The township began eyeing the Auld property in 2004 after Hurricane Ivan caused Pine Creek to flood towns like Millvale and when the adjoining Gorehead Run overflowed its banks.

When Auld refused to give up the land, the township took it by eminent domain and offered $280,000 compensation.

Now, a three-judge panel, called the Board of Viewers, has set the price at $640,000.

Still, Auld is not placated.

“No, I appreciate what the Board of Viewers did, but no I don’t think it’s made up for what I’ve been through,” Auld said.

Hampton officials declined comment on the decision, but in the past have stood firm that the property needed to be acquired for the good of the public.

But Auld and her attorneys have not stopped fighting in the courts. They maintain that the land was taken improperly.

“If they think she’s ready to quit they don’t know Gladys very well,” Attorney Noah Fardo said.

Now, Hampton Township can pay the settlement or it can appeal.

Fardo said it’s time for both sides to sit down and settle. If not, Auld said she’ll keep on fighting.

  • ERIC

    GOOD FOR HER!!!!

  • Dude

    Hampton is a hick town and I’m proud to call Mrs.Auld a woman of character. Keep on fighting, Gladys.

    • Brad

      Ummmm have u been to hampton recently? It’s one of the more rich areas in allegheny county .. What are you going to say next ? Cranberry and pine Richland are hick towns

      • Louie

        I agree – Hampton is not a hicktown – but it does seem like they tried to get over on a 93 year old women – so I think that would make them somewhat hickish :)

  • white power

    I miss auld lumber

  • Been had by Corporates too

    Cities, states and Govt have been using the claim Eminent Domain to seize properties from honest tax paying citizens for decades, look at Tox Island Dam project in the Poconos,Pa where the Govt evicted dozens of people, bulldozed their houses and evicted / moved a whole town,, Keep on fighting Glady’s, someone has to stand up for what is right.

  • LawStudent

    I support Gladys! I appreciate fighting on principle and standing up to government officials – i think shes great :) – her lawyer Noah Fardo is right, they didnt know who they were battling!

  • Sick of Corrupt Government

    So they not only take her property – but then they pay her less than half of what her property was really worth – sounds like more of the same sick corrupt government – I’m sick of it – and she’s 93 years old – you have to be kidding me! I hope she pounds them!

  • bettygerbil

    u get them granny don’t let them take your land and if they do make them pay for it this has to stop there taking the elderly for rides

  • pittgirl


  • Inspired

    This story reminded me that even in a world where the government typically does whatever it wants, with conviction (and a good attorney!) you can fight for what is right and win. Keep fighting Gladys!

  • Stacey

    The Township should be ashamed of themselves and I for one am thrilled Gladys is battling and not taking this lying down. She sheds light on corrupt government action – She has all my respect

  • Shockly

    Although the story only mentions Hampton, this has PEMA and FEMA written all over it. Rather than doing this the right way they force local municipalities to engage in these types of underhanded moves to do their dirty work.

    And no I do not spend my evenings wearing a tin foil hat

  • AshamedInHampton

    I am ashamed that my tax dollars go to bullying little old ladies like Mrs. Auld. I would love to know how much Hamptons attorneys have been paid for this. Not only have the Auld’s been victimized here but so have the taxpayers. Keep fighting!

  • david ford

    What a crime. kudos to attorney fardo and ms. auld for fighting government abuse.

  • Kevin

    All the tax paying residents of Hampton Township should demand the resignations of these officials. This is borderline criminal…. Way to go Glady – we are behind you all the way!

  • George

    Gladys…you are awesome!!! Show those pathetic individuals, who have been appointed to overpaid jobs (NOT ELECTED), that the founding families of Hampton Township shouldn’t be treated like second class citizens. I know that the amount the Board has awarded you doesn’t even cover the costs involved, but keep on fighting for what is right! We all love you, Gladys, and the entire Auld Family.

  • ChecktheFacts

    Previous articles indicate that the GCA, L.P., made up of Ms. Auld’s nieces and a nephew who is an attorney, actually owned the condemned property. Not sure how this constitutes “bullying an old lady.” Perhaps the reporters should check their facts. Also, in an article from April, Ms. Auld claimed to want more than $5,000,000.00 for the property. It seems to me like the Court and Township actually stopped the owners from fleecing Hampton taxpayers for the extra $4.5 million. But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good story.

  • SweetCarolina

    Check the facts?? The statement “in an article from April, Ms. Auld CLAIMED to want more than $5,000,000.00 for the property” is a wonderful example of something completely other than fact. Just because an “article” puts a town rumor to print, and it appeals to your opinion, simply does NOT make it fact. But let’s not let the rumors get in the way of a good message board post.

    Good for her in seeking out help from Attorney Fardo. Walking away quietly would have been the easy thing to do.

    • ChecktheFacts

      Town rumor? She’s direclty quoted as saying that the property was worth more than $5,000,000.00. The court gave her a fraction of that amount. Sounds to me like the taxpayers were the real winners.

  • Fact Man

    I can tell you my own direct stories with Hampton that are just as nasty as this one. They say that they wanted the land for flood control, yet I can tell you that I know of a couple flood retention ponds that were built for the UPMC property at Route 8 and Mount Royal Boulevard that do not work. These ponds are directly upstream from this ladys property.

    Water retention ponds are suppsed to retain water to control flooding. The ponds on the UPMC property do not retain any water, which is causing some of the proplems down-stream. The UPMC building and parking lots dump a ton of water that is not controlled. I have called them and visited them about water issues and they have just blown me off. There are a lot of issues with Hampton. They think they are above many people and it is all about making money.

  • standupnfite

    This property has been in the family over 100 years. Do we still have a United States of Amerika? Eminent domain should be done away with. Public good my azz. It’s just a bunch of f’n enviro nazis and greedy pols too lazy to work for another solution to the problem so they take the easy and “cheap” way out. F&%K the corrupt government.

  • FRED

    I want to wiegh in on this topic because back when they wanted to build Toxh Island dam My grate uncle was forced to sell his hundreds of acres.
    The property was in our family for over 100 Years and the Dingmans ferry falls is on the property.CAN I FIGHT TO RECOVER THIS FAMILY ASSET????????????

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