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7th Cir. Axes “Judicial Takings” Theory in Lakefront Property Case

by: Michael Realbuto
7 Dec 2022
The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided an interesting takings case this past cycle which involved several Indiana properties that abut Lake Michigan. In Pavlock v. Holcomb, the property owners asserted a relatively novel “judicial takings” theory that was ultimately rejected by the panel. The Court held that the lakefront owners could not sue... Read More

SCOTUS Locks Crosshairs on Key Property Rights Issue

by: Michael Realbuto
29 Nov 2022
Although our blog primarily focuses on eminent domain related issues in the courts, our ears perk up whenever the High Court decides to clarify a significant property rights issue. In Wilkins v. United States, No. 21-1164, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear argument on November 30, 2022, regarding the following question presented: Two Montana... Read More

Trenton Mayor vs. City Council: Who Controls the Creation of a Redevelopment Agency?

by: Michael Realbuto
21 Nov 2022
In Mercer County, there is a lawsuit heating up between the Trenton City Council and Mayor Reed Gusciora over the creation of a new redevelopment agency. The City Council kicked off the lawsuit in April 2022 with a Verified Complaint and Order to Show Cause. The Order to Show Cause sought to preliminarily restrain the... Read More

Valuing Contaminated Property in a Condemnation Case

by: Michael Realbuto
31 Oct 2022
Regarding the intersection of eminent domain and environmentally contaminated property, the New Jersey Supreme Court made the following observation: In general, eminent domain springs from two separate legal doctrines. The right of the State to take private property for the public good arises out of the necessity of government, whereas the obligation to make “just”... Read More

Stand Clear: Belleville Prepares to Investigate a New Redevelopment Area

by: Michael Realbuto
4 Oct 2022
Besides being the hometown of a man who motivated many tri-state attorneys with his courtroom pizzazz, Belleville is also the potential home to a new “area in need of redevelopment” pursuant to the New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A;1, et seq (“LRHL”). Last week, the Belleville Town Council passed a resolution that... Read More

A Primer on Tenants’ Rights to Condemnation Awards in New Jersey

by: Michael Realbuto
26 Sep 2022
When the government takes private property using its power of eminent domain, it is required to pay the property owner “just compensation.” With that being said, the allocation of a condemnation award is not always clear cut and legal disputes often arise in the context of leaseholds. Allocation of a condemnation award to persons claiming... Read More

New York Appellate Court: Make a Strong Case When Arguing for a “Highest and Best Use!”

by: Michael Realbuto
14 Sep 2022
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, reviewed a lower court’s decision that disregarded a property owner’s proposed “highest and best use” to support a valuation claim in a condemnation matter. The primary issue on appeal was whether the lower court erred in finding that the property owner failed to substantiate... Read More

Maryland Appellate Court: Condemnation Jury Trials are the Status Quo

by: Michael Realbuto
24 Aug 2022
Earlier this year, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals reviewed a lower court’s decision that prevented a self-represented property owner from having her valuation case heard by a jury. The primary issue on appeal was whether it was legally correct for the lower court to hold the condemnation trial without a jury. The full decision... Read More

The Deed is Done: Bruce’s Beach Officially Returned to Family’s Descendants Almost a Century After Pretextual Condemnation

by: Michael Realbuto
10 Aug 2022
In November 2021, we blogged about a story where California’s Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed a law authorizing Los Angeles County to return a beach property taken by eminent domain back to descendants of the original property owners. That blog can be found here. Fast forward to mid-July 2022, an oceanfront ceremony officially marked the first... Read More

Denial of SCOTUS Review: Open Door for More Takings Under Kelo?

by: Michael Realbuto
27 Jul 2022
Our blog often focuses on Court action that shapes the law surrounding the substantial power of eminent domain. However, in some instances, Court inaction may lead to detrimental consequences for property owners when faced with a governmental taking. One notable example of Court inaction that is worth discussing is the case of Eychaner v. City... Read More