BLOG: Condemnation Law

Dropping the Ball: Another "Oops" Moment for the Condemnor

by: Daniel Kim
8 Jun 2015
Last week, a New Jersey Superior Court judge granted a landowner’s summary judgment motion to dismiss the Township of Lakewood’s (“Township”) condemnation actions.  In Tp. of Lakewood v. Garzo, the Township instituted four condemnation actions after designating areas as being “in need of” redevelopment.  The Township initially believed that it had owned the subject properties... Read More

California Appellate Court Remands Case for Award of Fees and Costs to Owner's Counsel

by: Joseph Grather
1 Jun 2015
Under California law, if the Court finds that the government’s final settlement offer was unreasonable and the property owner’s demand was reasonable, the Court is permitted to award the property owner its litigation expenses. So, after exchange of appraised valuations of $3.8M (government) and $10,875 (owner), the government offered to settle the case for $5M... Read More

Virginia DOT Verdict Reversed

by: Joseph Grather
30 Apr 2015
Following up on our post here on the Ramsey v. Commissioner case, the Virginia Supreme Court recently reversed a jury verdict in favor of DOT that would have required the owner to repay a portion of the initial offer monies.  The Court ruled that it was error for the trial court to have precluded the owner... Read More

Will the Latest New Jersey Supreme Court Property Rights Decision Revive the Redevelopment Market?

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
1 Apr 2015
Last week, a divided New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that condemning agencies do not have to prove that properties within an area “in need of redevelopment” have a deleterious effect on the surrounding area in order for those properties to be taken via eminent domain.  The 3-2 majority opinion, authored by Justice Barry Albin, concluded... Read More

Townsend v Pierre: Expert Opinion Fails Where Contrary to Undisputed Record Evidence

by: Joseph Grather
18 Mar 2015
The New Jersey Supreme Court decided Townsend v. Pierre on March 12, 2015.  It was not a condemnation case but is relevant to any civil litigation involving expert witnesses.  The case arose out of a terrible accident involving a motorcycle and an automobile.  The motorcycle t-boned the car and the motorcyclist died.  The decedent’s estate brought... Read More

Drive-By Appraisals "Approved" in New York!

by: Joseph Grather
6 Mar 2015
Property owners have won a battle in a long simmering dispute in New York over pending real estate tax appeals.  The case was reported in the BuffaloNews.com.  In short, eight property owners with pending tax appeals against the City refused to let the City’s appraiser in their homes in connection with the preparation of the... Read More

North Carolina Court Finds "Map Act" Filing Equates to a "Taking"

by: Joseph Grather
23 Feb 2015
Under North Carolina statute, once the department of transportation files  a map depicting a future taking, “no building permit shall be issued for any building or structure or part thereof located within the transportation corridor, nor shall approval of a subdivision . . . be granted with respect to property within the transportation corridor.” N.C. Gen. Stat. § 136-44.51(a).... Read More

Griepenburg v Township of Ocean: Inverse Claim Denied For Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

by: Joseph Grather
26 Jan 2015
Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided a case brought by property owners to challenge a municipal ordinance that “down-zoned” their property. (A full copy of the decision is here).  The property owners lost before the trial court, won before the Appellate Division, but lost in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held:  “We... Read More

Ramsey v. Commissioner of Highways: Is there a Santa Claus in Virginia?

by: Joseph Grather
12 Jan 2015
Coming to you from Virginia – care of our Owner’s Counsel colleague Robert Thomas – is the case of Ramsey v. Commissioner of Highways, which involves Virginia DOT’s attempt to change its valuation position at trial. Thomas’ Blog entry here.  In a nutshell, DOT offered the owner $246,292 before trial (based on an appraisal prepared by... Read More

Federal Judge Restrains Government Action On Dune Project in Margate

by: Joseph Grather
8 Dec 2014
Yesterday, a United States District Court judge restrained the U.S. Army Corps and NJDEP from any further action towards their joint Little Egg Inlet to Barnegat Inlet Storm Damage Reduction Project pending further hearings to be held in two weeks time.  The City of Margate, which owns the beach west of the State’s public trust... Read More