BLOG: Condemnation Law

Government Can’t Make Developers "Show Them the Money"

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
26 Jun 2013
Big Win For Property Rights in US Supreme Court  Yesterday, the United State Supreme Court issued a decision which has caused property rights advocates and developers to rejoice, and is likely to become a historic property rights precedent for years to come.  The 5-4 decision in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Mgmt District, No. 11-1447 (copy... Read More

Eminent Domain Reform Bill Passed by NJ Senate

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
21 Jun 2013
Yesterday, the New Jersey State Senate approved a bill which codifies restrictions of local governments’ use of eminent domain for private redevelopment and creates an alternative to condemnation for future redevelopment projects. The legislation, S-2447, passed on a vote of 36-1, affirms the protections afforded to property owners in redevelopment areas by New Jersey’s courts... Read More

SCOTUS Takes Mt Holly Gardens Case!

by: Joseph Grather
19 Jun 2013
Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Mt Holly Gardens v. Mt Holly Gardens Citizens.  The case background is set forth in our prior blogs, but, the property owners (through counsel South Jersey Legal Services) argue that the redevelopment of the Mount Holly Gardens violates the Constitution because the government  relocation of residents... Read More

Congressional Committee Adopts Private Property Protection Act Bill

by: Joseph Grather
18 Jun 2013
The U.S. House judiciary subcommittee on Constitution and Civil Justice recently passed a bill (H.R. 1944) that is designed to protect private property from eminent domain takings by creating a federal bar to transfers from government to private entities for economic redevelopment. The press release is available here. The bill is entitled the Private Property... Read More

Missouri Supreme Court Enforces Post-Kelo Legislation Limiting Takings for Economic Development

by: Joseph Grather
7 Jun 2013
As reported by, the Missouri Supreme Court recently rejected the Southeast Missouri Port Authority’s attempt to use eminent domain to take private property for use in connection with interstate transmission of North Dakota crude oil. (A copy of the opinion is here).  The government intended to take undeveloped Mississippi River water-front property from Velma... Read More

NJ Senate Committee Advances Eminent Domain/Redevelopment Bill

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
4 Jun 2013
Yesterday the Budget Committee of the New Jersey State Senate favorably reviewed and recommended approval of legislation that would codify important restrictions on the use of eminent domain in local redevelopment projects, and also would provide municipalities with the opportunity to undertake redevelopment projects without using eminent domain. The bill, S-2447, mirrors companion legislation (A-3615)... Read More

NJ Assembly Unanimously Approves Bill Allowing Redevelopment Without Eminent Domain

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
21 May 2013
Yesterday, the New Jersey State Assembly unanimously approved legislation that codifies important redevelopment case-law, and provides municipalities with an option to undertake local redevelopment projects without using eminent domain. The bill, A-3615, sponsored by Assemblymen Coutinho, Bucco and Munoz, has a Senate companion, S-2447, and shares some of the provisions which had been included in earlier legislative... Read More

NJ Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Dune Case

by: Joseph Grather
20 May 2013
On May 13, 2013, the Supreme Court heard argument in the case of Borough of Harvey Cedars v. Karan.  That case is on appeal from an Appellate Division decision, which affirmed a jury verdict awarding the property owners $375,000 as constitutional just compensation for the partial taking of their private beach-front property.  The municipality appealed... Read More

Town’s Failure to Treat Property Owner Fairly Leads to Reversal by Appellate Division

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
13 May 2013
A New Jersey appellate court recently reversed a trial court’s dismissal of a tax appeal, and found that the City of North Wildwood failed to act fairly in litigation with the property owner.  The property at issue is improved with a seven-story mixed-use tower, a 160-slip marina and a 3900 square-foot marina services building, and... Read More

High Court Declines Hearing on Partial Taking of Cemetery

by: Joseph Grather
6 May 2013
Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court denied a petition for certification filed by the Diocese of Camden in behalf of St Mary’s Cemetery in Bellmawr.  As reported by the, in 2010, the New Jersey Department of Transportation acquired by exercise of eminent domain a six acre parcel owned by the church for its... Read More