BLOG: Court Decisions

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

Property Rights Trampled by COVID-19

by: Joseph Grather
22 Apr 2020
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida just denied a temporary injunction to a group of beachfront property owner’s suing to enjoin a governmental Order that temporarily and totally denied their use and enjoyment of private property.  The Order denied access to the owners private beach. If you have 5 minutes,... Read More

Town Looks Gift Horse in Mouth – Gets Bitten

by: John H. Buonocore, Jr.
15 Apr 2020
NJSEA v. Kearny A recent Appellate Division decision affirmed a trial judge’s award of  just compensation concerning the taking by a State agency of a municipal landfill in Kearny.  The award matched the amount of the condemning agency’s appraisal, and both the trial and appellate court’s rejected entirely the municipal property owner’s theory of value. ... Read More

Owner’s Verdict Potpourri of Condemnation Valuation Principles

by: Joseph Grather
4 Mar 2020
Last month, the a New Jersey appellate court affirmed a $3,000,000.00 verdict rendered by a Camden County jury for the taking of an eight story 80,000 s.f. building in Camden City Center.  The full text of the opinion is here:   Estate of Rubin v. Camden Parking Authority.  The Parking Authority appealed arguing the owner’s valuation... Read More

Federal Appeals Court Rules PennEast Cannot Haul State into Federal Court for Pipeline Takings

by: Joseph Grather
16 Sep 2019
We may be late to the party, as there has already been a lot of publicity over this decision, but thought we would add a few lines for our readers. The Circuit Court immediately explained that the District Court granted PennEast “orders of condemnation and preliminary injunctive relief for immediate access to the properties.” Slip... Read More