Demarest v. Underhill – Cert. Petition

by: Joseph Grather
25 May 2023
Having visited Underhill, Vermont dozens of times, I had to quickly post notice of the recent petition for certiorari filed by our Owners Counsel of America colleague, Michael Berger, on behalf of the property owner. 2023-5-23 demarest-cert-petition.  (The Town literally sits “under” Mount Mansfield – Vermont’s tallest peak). The owner’s petition is asking the Supreme... Read More

Federal Courts Signal Return to In Person Court Proceedings

by: Joseph Grather
12 May 2023
Another sign that the COVID-19 / SARS-2 pandemic is over – Reuters reported yesterday that the federal judiciary would be ending its remote access mandates come September 2023. I clearly remember when it started, the signs pasted on retail business doors – CLOSED – Will Re-open in Two Weeks. That was March 20, 2020.  Over... Read More

Can The Government “Keep The Change”? Tax Foreclosure Likely Taking Where It Keeps the Profits

by: Joseph Grather
27 Apr 2023
The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in Tyler v. Hennepin County. Full analysis of the arguments can be found on SCOTUSBLOG. It doesn’t appear that the Justices were persuaded by the government’s position that it was entitled to keep the $25,000 in excess funds received after selling Ms. Tyler’s house for payment of back taxes. ... Read More

JP Morgan Chase CEO Suggests Eminent Domain to Fuel Green Infrastructure Investment

by: Joseph Grather
13 Apr 2023
Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase issued his annual shareholders’ letter a few days ago. The letter is akin to a “state of the Union” address, while focusing on JP Morgan Chase’s successes of the prior year, as follows: “2022 was somewhat surprisingly another strong year for JPMorgan Chase, with the firm... Read More

“A Word of Many, Too Many Meanings….” Supreme Court Opinion Alert

by: Joseph Grather
29 Mar 2023
“Jurisdiction, this Court has observed, is a word of many, too many, meanings.” Wilkins v United States (Slip op. March 28, 2023). Well, whatever the word means, the 12-year limitations period contained in the Quiet Title Act (28 U.S.C. Sec. 2409a) is not a bar to a federal Court’s jurisdiction. Wilkins and neighbor Stanton live... Read More

Great 8, Number 8: Pennsylvania Coal v. Mahon

by: Joseph Grather
17 Mar 2023
For the final case in my “Great 8”, who else but Holmes? Before we get there, a quick caveat on “great cases” (from Holmes): “Great cases like hard cases make bad law.  For great cases are called great, not by reason of their real importance in shaping the law of the future, but because of... Read More

NJ Supreme Court – Malanga v West Orange – Redevelopment Criteria “d” Interpreted

by: Joseph Grather
15 Mar 2023
Hot off the presses, Chief Justice Rabner issued the Court’s unanimous opinion on Monday reversing a “blight” designation by the Township of West Orange. The full opinion is here. While we are still digesting the opinion, I believe its the first substantive interpretation of criterion “d” by our Supreme Court since Wilson v. City of... Read More

Great 8, Numbers 6 & 7: Cat in the Hat & Suydam

by: Joseph Grather
3 Mar 2023
Two for one Friday, or the Daily-Double! There was a raging debate twenty years ago (tempus fugit!) about what happens when government acquires allegedly contaminated property for public use.  Parties clashed over whether property seized by eminent domain should be valued considering the impact of the alleged contamination upon the value, or whether the contamination... Read More

Great Eight, No. 5 – Nollan v. California Coastal Commission (US)

by: Joseph Grather
15 Feb 2023
1987. My penultimate year in high school and the year the United States Supreme Court decided Nollan v. California Coastal Commission.  483 U.S. 825. Justice Scalia’s opinion is worthy of a full read, especially the continued – and almost comical – retorts to Justice Brennan’s dissenting opinion. The issue is on appeal is immediately established: ... Read More

Great 8, Number 4: Wilson – Municipal Redevelopment Sustained

by: Joseph Grather
31 Jan 2023
The above image apparently depicts a downtown urban blighted area in Connecticut.  (But, today’s post will not be about the famous Little Pink House in Connecticut). This post is about the judicial progenitor of redevelopment in New Jersey, Wilson v City of Long Branch (1957) (Francis, Assoc. Justice).  The case was the first to challenge... Read More