BLOG: Condemnation Law

Is COVID-19 “Shutdown” Compensation Due Under Disaster Control Act? And Who Gets To Decide?

by: Joseph Grather
5 Nov 2020
An interesting case arose in our home vicinage – Morris & Sussex – involving a small business owner’s challenge to Governor Murphy’s COVID-19 “shutdown” orders. JWC Fitness v. Governor Murphy:  The complaint was filed about a month ago and was subsequently dismissed by Assignment Judge Stuart Minkowitz on jurisdictional grounds.  Judge Minkowtiz held that jurisdiction... Read More

Taxpayer Appeal Upsets Redevelopment Designation in West Orange

by: Joseph Grather
1 Oct 2020
The Appellate Division issued an unpublished opinion on September 11, 2020, in the case of Kevin Malanga v. West Orange. Mr. Malanga is a “resident taxpayer” within the Township of West Orange who appealed the designation of the Essex Green Shopping Center and the Executive Drive Office Park as a non-condemnation “area in need of... Read More

COVID Eviction Freezes – Who Is Supposed To Pay?

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
2 Sep 2020
Yesterday, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued what is perhaps its most far-reaching order concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.  The order, available here, was not an order concerning travel, immunization, or other health-related concerns tied to the pandemic, but rather an order seeking to halt evictions of residential tenants on a... Read More

Constitutional Implications of COVID-19 and Its Impact Upon Property Rights and Individual Liberties

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
31 Aug 2020
“Our battle with the pandemic is fluid, presenting issues that evolve and change with each day that passes.” MROD’s Anthony F. DellaPelle authored a recent article for the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation concerning the constitutional implications of the restrictions that have been imposed by various government officials and agencies upon individuals and businesses... Read More

Church Loses Interest Awarded on Condemnation Judgment

by: Joseph Grather
24 Aug 2020
I remember long ago, my first case against NJDOT where a judgment awarding constitutional just compensation triggered a duty to pay interest on the award.  I also remember reading “Title 27” (NJDOT statute) and finding the 6% “solution” to my interest problem.  I mentioned the great news to one of the founders of my firm... Read More

Property Owners Standing Strong Against Pipeline Companies

by: Joseph Grather
29 Jul 2020
Just as President Trump moves to block Russia’s expansion of its natural gas pipeline infrastructure, local property owners continue to stand their ground against pipeline companies. Several owners in Mercery County opposed the PennEast Pipeline project.   NextCity just published an article detailing an owner’s years-long battle against PennEast. Back in February 2018, PennEast had filed... Read More

NJ Appellate Court: Deed Not Needed For Substitute Access

by: John H. Buonocore, Jr.
28 Jul 2020
A New Jersey appellate court recently held that a condemnation creating an easement for alternative highway access to support abutting property was not required to be deeded to an abutting owner.  Amba Corporation vs. State by Comm’r of Transp. A-4765-17T2, decided July 24, 2020. The plaintiff in Amba operated a motel in Bellmawr Township with... Read More

Suit Alleges Los Angeles’ Anti-Eviction and Rent Freeze Laws a Taking

by: Joseph Grather
16 Jun 2020
The “Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles” has sued the City of Los Angeles in United States District Court for the Central District of California.  A copy of the filed complaint is available here.  According to the Complaint, in the wake of the “Wuhan Coronavirus”, the City “hastily” adopted a series of measures that prevent... Read More

NJ Supremes’ Reversal of Jury Verdict Reminds Trial Courts of Gatekeeping Function

by: Joseph Grather
5 Jun 2020
Not surprised.  As a follow-up report on our blog here, which recounted an Appellate Division opinion affirming a jury verdict of $4.2 million in favor of property owner Anthony Gentile where he did not present appraisal/valuation testimony at trial after his property in central New Jersey was taken by Manalapan Township.  Guess the verdict was... Read More

New Supreme Court Ruling on COVID-19 Case – Police Power Trumps Freedom of Religion

by: Joseph Grather
1 Jun 2020
On Friday the U.S. Supreme Court issued a terse Order and decision denying a California church’s request for relief from the Governor’s 25% occupancy restriction on church attendance. The Court split 5-4.  The Chief Justice issued the majority opinion and Justice Kavanaugh issued the dissenting opinion. The majority’s rationale – federal courts should defer to... Read More