BLOG: Court Decisions

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

The App. Div. Says: “No Veteran’s Exemption Upon Remarriage”

by: Allan Zhang
29 May 2019
The Appellate Division reversed the Tax Court’s judgment conferring a military veteran’s exemption for tax year 2016 as the surviving spouse of her first husband (an honorably discharged, decorated Vietnam veteran who qualified for an exemption) who remarried. The spouse’s exemption qualifies only during widowhood related to the death of the qualifying husband. This right... Read More

Appellate Court: Mobile Home Park Can Satisfy Affordable Housing Obligation

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
25 Apr 2019
A New Jersey appellate court recently held that a municipality may use its eminent domain powers to seize a mobile home park in order fulfill its affordable housing obligation.  The matter involved the taking by the Township of Robbinsville of a mobile home park owned by defendant, Mercer MHC, LLC, which contained approximately 14 acres... Read More

PennEast Pipeline Under Appeal to Federal Circuit Court of Appeal

by: Joseph Grather
23 Aug 2018
On August 10, 2018, FERC issued an Order Denying Requests for Rehearing on its grant of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to PennEast Pipeline, LLC.2018-8-10 FERC Order Denying Rehearing. On August 13, 2018, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and Delaware Riverkeeper appealed. FERC issued its Certificate for the PennEast Pipeline in January of this... Read More