BLOG: Condemnation Law

Newark Property Owner Snuffed on Damage Claim After Dismissal of Taking

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
19 May 2014
A New Jersey appellate court recently decided the sequel to a failed condemnation action from 2012 regarding property in Newark.  The property in question was commercial property owned in condominium form by New United Corp. and the Essex County Improvement Authority (“ECIA”), containing five buildings and a parking garage.  Due to prior disputes between the... Read More

Appeals Court: Hearing Was Required Regarding Impact of Wetlands

by: Joseph Grather
14 May 2014
On May 6, 2014, the Appellate Division published its opinion in New Jersey Transit v. Mori (Docket No. A-0122-12T4).  The case involved acquisition of property impacted by wetlands regulated by the Army Corps of Engineers. Plaintiff’s estimate of compensation for the one acre (out of fourteen) partial taking was $61,000 given the presence of wetlands... Read More

Netherlands v State – Regulatory Taking Denied

by: Joseph Grather
28 Apr 2014
“The State may not put so potent a Hobbesian stick into the Lockean bundle.” Palazzolo v. Rhode Island, 533 U.S. 606, 627 (2001).  That was the United States Supreme Court’s response thirteen years ago to Rhode Island’s argument that property owners could claim no loss from legislation shaping and defining property rights enacted prior to... Read More

Update – "House of Cards" Legislation Not Passed

by: Joseph Grather
9 Apr 2014
As reported by the Washington Post here, a bill that would have increased the annual “tax credit” budget for production companies filming in Maryland (like Netflix’s House of Cards and HBO’s Veep) from $15M to $18.5M failed to pass last week in Maryland’s General Assembly. The fate of House of Cards filming in Maryland remains... Read More

Maryland Threatens to Take "House of Cards" by Eminent Domain

by: Joseph Grather
2 Apr 2014
What skullduggery is this?  Netflix/House of Cards’ star, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) was recently spotted in Annapolis lobbying legislators towards a new law that would make available additional tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks from the State of Maryland (reported by Bloomberg here).  A legislative hearing is scheduled for April 2, 2013 before Maryland... Read More

You Gotta Be In it To Win It: Kentucky Court Stops Pipeline Taking

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
31 Mar 2014
A Kentucky court recently stopped a utility company from utilizing eminent domain to build an underground gas pipeline to transport natural gas liquids through the Commonwealth.  The case, Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain, Inc. v. Bluegrass Pipeline Company, LLC (Civil Action No. 13-CI-1492),  involved the challenge by plaintiff, a non-profit agency formed for the purpose of... Read More

Happy Trails – Property Owner Wins Before USSCT

by: Joseph Grather
18 Mar 2014
On March 10, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued its almost unanimous (8-1) decision in Brandt Revocable Trust v United States.  The question presented is detailed in our prior blog here, but simply stated, the government argued that it owned the ground underneath an abandoned railroad right-of-way that permitted it to continue the Medicine Bow... Read More

Private Property Rights Protection Act Passed by the House

by: Joseph Grather
11 Mar 2014
A federal bill H.R. 1944 introduced back in May of 2013, has been passed by the House of Representatives. Reported here.  All the details and text of the bill are set forth in our June 2013 blog.  Simply stated, the bill purportedly will punish States that abuse the eminent domain power by limiting federal dollars for... Read More

Experts' Valuation Arguments Rejected as Net Opinion in Hoboken Taking

by: Joseph Grather
28 Feb 2014
Hudson County Assignment Judge Peter Bariso recently rejected a property owner’s argument that the date of value should be a date earlier than the commencement of condemnation action on August 23, 2012.  City of Hoboken v. Ponte Equities, Inc. (Docket No. HUD-L-4095-12).  The property owner argued that the date of value should have been June... Read More

Undersized Lot Receives Variance From Court to Avoide Inverse Condemnation Claim

by: Joseph Grather
18 Feb 2014
While not our prototypical condemnation case, a trial judge in Ocean County aptly reversed a local zoning board in Jerman v. Tp. of Manchester (Docket No. OCN-L-1844-13).  If affirmed the zoning board’s denial of a bulk variance that would have zoned the property into inutility; that is, it would have rendered the property valueless and would thereby... Read More