BLOG: Court Decisions

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

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

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

Revocation of Highway Access Affirmed on Appeal

by: Joseph Grather
6 Jul 2022
On July 5, 2022, the Appellate Division affirmed a denial of direct highway access by the NJ Dep’t of Transportation. In re Revocation of the Permit for Direct Access to Route 206, Docket A-1958-18. Opinion here.  The property owner – Sylvia Zika – had litigated the denial of access through the entire regulatory process culminating... Read More

Appellate Division Affirms Town’s Right to Take Redevelopment Property

by: Michael Realbuto
14 Apr 2022
In New Jersey, redevelopment designations are often a precursor to the government exercising its eminent domain power. However, in order for the government to use eminent domain, it must first obtain a final judgment from the court authorizing the “right to take.” On April 6, 2022, in Lindenwold v. Jackson, et al., the Appellate Division... Read More

N.J. District Court: Jersey City’s Limit on Short-Term Rentals is Constitutional Under the Takings Clause

by: Michael Realbuto
7 Mar 2022
Home sharing platforms have exploded in popularity over the past decade, becoming an acceptable way for individuals to earn supplemental income from their properties. Using these platforms, individuals may lease or sublease their properties for a short-term period of days, weeks, or months at a time. In 2015, Jersey City passed an ordinance affirmatively permitting... Read More

SCOTUS Declines to Hear Dakota Access Pipeline Case

by: Michael Realbuto
1 Mar 2022
  Image courtesy of researchgate.net With over 7,000 requests for review per year, the Supreme Court of the United States has its hands full and hears only about 100-150 cases in a given year. One case that recently did not make the cut was an appeal submitted by the operator of the Dakota Access Pipeline... Read More

Penn. High Court: Eminent Domain Power Not Required For Liability in Inverse Condemnation Action

by: Michael Realbuto
15 Dec 2021
In late November 2021, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court addressed a rather interesting question regarding inverse condemnation liability in Hughes v. UGI Storage Co., et al., No. J-69A-2021 (Nov. 29, 2021). There, the Court sought out to answer whether, to be held liable for damages under Pennsylvania’s inverse condemnation statute, an entity must be clothed with... Read More