BLOG: Court Decisions

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

50 Year Old Newark Blight Designation Invalidated

by: Joseph Grather
29 Aug 2019
On August 16, 2019, the Honorable Thomas Vena, J.S.C. invalidated a 50-year-old blight designation of Plaintiff Benjamin Moore’s property in Newark, New Jersey.  The full text of the opinion is a worthwhile read and can be found here.  In one respect, it is a fountainhead decision because the Court invalidated a blight designation that had... Read More

Paying the Pied Piper: Third Circuit Court of Appeals Court Rules That State Law Applies in Federal  Eminent Domain Suit

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
31 Jul 2019
In TENNESSEE GAS PIPELINE COMPANY, LLC v. PERMANENT EASEMENT FOR 7.053 ACRES, et als, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit faced an issue of first impression, and held that State eminent domain law must be applied in federal takings matters. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, a private utility corporation, holds   a certificate... Read More

Non-Residential Development Fees: the Plain Language Confirms

by: Allan Zhang
30 Jul 2019
The New Jersey Tax Court recently determined 1) whether a subject property was improved for the purposes of calculating the Non-Residential Development Fee (“NRDF”)(N.J.S.A. 40:55D-8.1 to 8.7) and 2) the correct date to use when determining the preexisting value of the subject property for the purposes of computing the NRDF owed. The NRDF is applied... Read More

Exempt From Taxes? Not if You Fail to Answer the Chapter 91 Request!

by: Allan Zhang
26 Jul 2019
A New Jersey appellate court recently affirmed a Tax Court decision dismissing Alcatel’s complaint, which challenged the 2015 denial of a farmland assessment because Alcatel failed to respond to the tax assessor’s request for Chapter 91 data. NJSA 54:4-34 (“Chapter 91”) requires every real property owner “on written request of the assessor to render a... Read More

Knicks Win Big in Court, and on Court

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
25 Jun 2019
Last week ended with big takings news for Knicks in both Pennsylvania and New York.  In New York, the Knicks professional basketball team “took” former Duke University star R.J. Barrett with the third pick in the NBA draft.  Barrett is thought by many to have been the best all around prospect in the draft, and... Read More

Appellate Court Affirms Favorable Owner Verdict Where Owner Did Not Present Appraisal Expert

by: Joseph Grather
7 Jun 2019
The Appellate Division recently affirmed a judgment awarding a property owner $4,500,000 where the only appraisal expert testimony was the condemning agency’s expert, who opined that the property in question was only worth $2,830,000. The case was captioned Township of Manalapan v. Gentile and was commenced in August of 2010 to acquire a 45 acre... Read More