BLOG: Condemnation Law

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

Harrison Tp Redevelopment Faces Heavy Opposition

by: Joseph Grather
26 Jan 2023
A quick break from the “great 8” – – NJ.com reports that a rural Gloucester County municipality has been targeted in two lawsuits seeking to invalidate a “warehouse” friendly redevelopment plan. To refresh everyone’s recollection, the New Jersey Constitution declares that “redevelopment” of a “blighted area” is a public use and public purpose for which... Read More

Great 8, Number 3: United States v. Causby

by: Joseph Grather
20 Jan 2023
Thomas Lee and Tinie Causby lived outside of Greensboro, North Carolina and operated a chicken farm on their 2.8 acre property. In May of 1942 – about 5 months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 – the United States leased the municipal airport adjacent to Causby’s chicken farm to operate military... Read More

Great 8, Number 2: Washington Market – Early Inverse Case

by: Joseph Grather
13 Jan 2023
Washington Market Enterprises, Inc. v. City of Trenton, 68 N.J. 107 (1975) is number two on the list. The case is included because it is probably one of the earliest New Jersey inverse condemnation cases alleging a “regulatory taking” where the owner prevailed.  Our Supreme Court framed the issue:  “This case presents the question of... Read More

Weehawken Bans Short-Term Rentals…Fifth Amendment Challenge Coming?

by: Michael Realbuto
12 Jan 2023
Although home-sharing platforms have exploded in popularity over the past decade, becoming an acceptable way for individuals to earn supplemental income from their properties, several cities along the Hudson River have banned owners from leasing out their properties on a short-term basis citing quality-of-life concerns. In March and August 2022, we blogged about Jersey City’s... Read More

A New Years’ Great Eight: Number 1

by: Joseph Grather
4 Jan 2023
End of year, we all get bombarded with “best of” or “top 10, 20, 100” lists.  So, how about starting the year with eight great condemnation cases? Number 1. Monongahela Navigation Co. v. United States, 148 U.S. 312 (1893). A grand-daddy in its 130th anniversary year! A bountiful feast of elemental principles of just compensation... Read More

South Carolina City Pulls the Plug on Banning U-Haul Rentals

by: Michael Realbuto
3 Jan 2023
A property owner in Mauldin, South Carolina felt some holiday cheer this December when he found out that the city repealed an amortization ordinance that would have banned his long-standing U-Haul rental business. For over a decade, Jeremy Sark and his partner Marie Dougherty operated a U-Haul rental business alongside Sark’s Automotive shop in Mauldin.... Read More

Redevelopment of Famed “Horn Antenna” Site Looming?

by: Allan Zhang
28 Dec 2022
  The site of the former Nokia property in Holmdel Township could be receiving a makeover if the Township Committee gets its way. On November 22, 2022, the Holmdel Township Committee passed resolution 2022-307, authorizing the Township Planning Board to investigate whether the property at 791 Holmdel Road may be designated as an area in... Read More

Do Takings Claims Survive Transfer of Title?

by: Joseph Grather
21 Dec 2022
Read an interesting opinion by a California trial court dismissing an inverse condemnation action.NCP Imperial v. L.A. County, 2022 Cal. Super. LEXIS 60513 An inverse condemnation action alleges that private property has been taken for public use without just compensation.  A prevailing plaintiff gets a condemnation valuation case.  The majority of the “inverse” opinions I... Read More

Seasons Greetings – Easements and Partial Takings

by: Joseph Grather
15 Dec 2022
Property has often been described as a bundle of rights, and narratively depicted as a bundle of sticks.  I was recently preparing to try a case involving an easement taking, which was resolved at the 11th hour as many cases do.  Thinking about how best to present the case to a jury, a recurring thought... Read More