BLOG: Court Decisions

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The Appellate Division issued an unpublished opinion on September 11, 2020, in the case of Kevin Malanga v. West Orange.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

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

Oregon Shutdown Order: Vacated and Reinstated in One Day

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
19 May 2020
Another State’s Executive Orders – this time in Oregon – rode a judicial seesaw yesterday.  Earlier in the day, Baker County Circuit Court Judge Matt Shirtcliff issued an opinion and preliminary injunction which declared that all of Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s Executive Orders were “null and void”, and therefore enjoined enforcement of several orders entered... Read More

NJ’s Latest Shutdown Challenge – Gun Clubs Try to Force Reopening

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
15 May 2020
An association of gun clubs filed New Jersey’s latest challenge to Governor Murphy’s shutdown orders this week in U.S. District Court, asserting that their gun and rifle ranges should be permitted to reopen.  The lawsuit, filed on May 12, seeks injunctive relief, requesting that the Court order the “immediate reopening” of their facilities, which have... Read More

Wisconsin Supreme Court: No Need to Stay at Home Any More!

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
14 May 2020
Late yesterday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a 161-page opinion striking down Democratic Governor Tony Evers’ “stay at home” Executive Orders, marking the first-known high court victory for challengers to the shutdown orders issued by Governors and other executives around the country.  The 4-3 decision was lauded by local Republicans and small business owners as... Read More

Shipyard Associates Wins Big Against Hoboken

by: Joseph Grather
8 May 2020
While not a condemnation case per se, the Supreme Court’s May 5th Opinion in Shipyards Assoc. v. Hoboken may be useful in a future valuation case. In short, the owner rec’d approvals in 1997 for residential development of its waterfront property in Hoboken.  They build most of the project in conformity with its approvals, except... Read More

On Blueberry Hill – Property Owner Seeks Injunction from US Supreme Court

by: Joseph Grather
1 May 2020
Not very sexy to sing ‘I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill Public Golf Course & Lounge’, but these are strange days indeed. The name of the case is actually “Friends of Danny DeVito v. Tom Wolf” but if I were the property owner’s lawyer I would have led with Blueberry Hill…. I digress.  This... Read More