BLOG: Court Decisions

Property Owner’s Second Bite at the Apple Not So Tasty as the First

by: Joseph Grather
15 May 2017
A New Jersey appellate court just affirmed the denial of property owner’s challenge to a condemnation premised on a failure of pre-complaint bona fide negotiations. Montclair v Cerino 2017 a0753-15. The Township of Montclair had previously commenced a condemnation action to acquire a property along Valley Road that was used by the property owner to store... Read More

Challenge to Redevelopment Action Decades After Finding of Blight Denied

by: Joseph Grather
25 Jan 2017
  The Appellate Division recently analyzed an old blight designation in Ocean County in a January 18, 2017 opinion.  You may have to read it more than once to understand the convoluted fact pattern.  Or, you may want to skip ahead to the legal analysis because it is short and to the point. Two tracts... Read More

NJ Transit v. Franco – Property Owner Verdict Overturned on Appeal

by: Joseph Grather
1 Nov 2016
On October 19, 2016, almost seven years after a condemnation action was commenced, the Appellate Division published an opinion reversing an $8,150,000 jury verdict in favor of the property owners from 2013.  The pre-condemnation offer of compensation was $934,500.  The trial judge also ordered that $1,967,865 be escrowed in the Superior Court Trust Fund to cover... Read More

CRDA Denied Authority to Take – Birnbaum Wins on Reconsideration

by: Joseph Grather
10 Aug 2016
On August 5, 2016, Judge Mendez reversed himself issuing an Order holding that the Casino Reinvestment Development Corp.’s condemnation of the Birnbaum property was a “manifest abuse of the eminent domain power” and exceeded CRDA’s statutory authority.  Thereby dismissing the case commenced over two years ago. Initially the Court denied the Birnbaum’s challenge to the... Read More

Sales Approach Rejected in Valuing Rental Property

by: Richard De Angelis
11 Jul 2016
In reviewing a recent decision by the Honorable Patrick DeAlmeida, the Presiding Judge of the New Jersey Tax Court, the first thing that jumps out is the large reductions — approximate $1.84 million in reduced assessments for each of the years under appeal.  The appeal involved a free-standing Barnes & Noble store in Evesham Township brought by the retailer, a... Read More

Court of Claims Awards Leaseholder Awards $170M After Inverse Condemnation Trial

by: Joseph Grather
9 May 2016
A quick hit –  The United States Court of Federal Claims recently awarded two leaseholders over $170M for the taking of their leasehold interests at Dallas Love Field Airport. A full copy of the long opinion is here.  The nascence of the claim goes all the way back to construction of the Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport... Read More

Adoption of Rehabilitation Plan in Woodbridge Not A Taking (D.N.J.)

by: Joseph Grather
4 Apr 2016
From the United States District Court comes a new opinion from Judge Chesler, but there’s nothing new in the precedent cited denying a property’s owner’s claim of “inverse condemnation.”  Simply stated, an inverse condemnation case is a procedure for a property owner to secure just compensation where government has taken private property for public use... Read More

Appraiser’s Lack of Support for Adjustments Once Again Dooms Taxpayer’s Appeal

by: Daniel Kim
27 Jan 2016
Despite presenting an expert witness at trial, another taxpayer failed to convince the NewJersey Tax Court that its property was over assessed.  In Arteaga v. Wyckoff, the taxpayer challenged the original assessments of a single-family home for tax years 2012, 2013, and 2015.  Wyckoff underwent a revaluation for tax year 2015.  The taxpayer filed appeals... Read More

Relevant Parcel Question on the U.S. Supreme Court Docket for 2016

by: Joseph Grather
19 Jan 2016
Last week, the Court granted a cert. petition, which presented the following question: “In a regulatory taking case, does the “parcel as a whole” concept as described in Penn Central Transportation Company v. City of New York, 438 U.S. 104, 130-31 (1978), establish a rule that two legally distinct, but commonly owned contiguous parcels, must... Read More

Challenge to Redevelopment Bonds Untimely

by: Joseph Grather
29 Dec 2015
The New Jersey Supreme Court recently affirmed dismissal of a property owner’s challenge to a municipal ordinance that authorized issuance of $6.3M in municipal bonds to fund redevelopment of the famous Edison Battery Building in West Orange, N.J. Opinion here.  The owner’s group filed their challenge 53 days after final publication of the bond ordinance.... Read More