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Read Civil Procedure updates, alerts, news, and legal analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

SEQRA Permits Lead Agency To Remove Conditions from Conditional Declarations

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

Petitioners, residents and nearby occupants (“Petitioners”), commenced a hybrid Article 78 proceeding and declaratory judgment action against the Planning Board of the Village of Tuckahoe (“Board”) and others in Murphy v....more

Spate of Suits Brought by California Communities for Sea Level Rise May Change Landscape of Climate Change Litigation

by Ropes & Gray LLP on

A recent trio of cases filed in California state court seek to hold major fossil fuel companies liable for the effects of sea level rise they allege to be caused by climate change....more

Appeals Court Confirms That a Government Building Has the Status of a Pre-Existing Nonconforming Structure When Transferred to a...

by Goulston & Storrs PC on

In Gund, et al. v. Planning Board of Cambridge, et al., No. 15-P-1339 (Mass. App. Ct. July 19, 2017), neighbors of the former Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge challenged special permits granted by the Cambridge Planning Board...more

California Supreme Court Settles Split of Authority re Implied Dedication of Private Property to the Public

In a 2015 post on Money and Dirt, we reviewed a then-recent Court of Appeal decision, Scher v. Burke, and discussed the split of authority among California courts on the topic of “implied dedication” of private property to...more

In Lease Case, Maryland's Highest Court Brings State Law in Line With FOIA

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

Confidentiality is important for landlords and tenants in commercial lease transactions. For that reason, a recent Maryland Court of Appeals decision should be kept in mind when leases and other documents are submitted to...more

Queens Shopping Mall Nixed by Court’s “Public Trust” Doctrine Ruling

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

In Matter of Avella v. City of New York, 2017 NY Slip Op 04383 (June 6, 2017), the New York Court of Appeals reviewed a decision by the City of New York approving a proposal by Queens Development Group, LLC (“QDG”) which...more

Referendum Rescinding Zoning That Resolved General Plan Inconsistency Upheld

City of Morgan Hill v. Shannon Bushey (6th Dist., No. H043426, May 30, 2017) - Why it matters: In California, zoning must be consistent with the general plan. When a general plan amendment creates an inconsistency with the...more

Real Estate and Land Use - California Supreme Court Restricts Implied Dedication Rule

Scher v. Burke (June 15, 2017, S230104) - Why It Matters: Many large private landowners record notices under the provisions of the Civil Code in order to ensure that public use of their property does not morph into an...more

Massachusetts Courts Issue Key Decisions Concerning Zoning and Anti-SLAPP Law

by Goulston & Storrs PC on

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Makes it Harder to Dismiss Lawsuits by Utilizing the “Anti-SLAPP” Statute - In Blanchard v. Steward Carney Hospital, SJC-12141 (May 23, 2017) (Slip Op.) the Massachusetts Supreme...more

SCOTUS Announces New Multi-Factor Test to Determine the Relevant Parcel in Regulatory Takings Cases

by Miller Starr Regalia on

On June 23, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States finally decided Murr v. Wisconsin, __ U.S. __ (2017) (Case No. 15-214), a case that addressed land use regulations that “merged” adjacent parcels (the first of which...more

Redefining the Denominator: Supreme Court Adopts New Test in Regulatory Taking Case 

In Murr v. Wisconsin, the US Supreme Court declined to find that a landowner's riverfront property was the subject of a regulatory taking. In a 5-3 decision, the majority adopted a new test for defining the bounds of the...more

WA Supreme Court Narrows Executive Session Real Estate Deliberations

by Perkins Coie on

The Washington Supreme Court significantly narrowed the ability of public agencies to discuss real estate deliberations in executive session. In a ruling on June 8, 2017, the court held that the Open Public Meetings Act...more

A Prevailing Party May Now Recover Attorney’s Fees in a Vested Rights Dispute

by Jackson Walker on

Chapter 245 of the Texas Local Government Code (the “Vested Rights Statute”), provides a regulatory scheme in which developers and the public may rely upon regulations of a regulatory agency in effect at the time an initial...more

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review a Legal Challenge to Mello-Roos Special Taxes - Funding Mechanism for “Additional Services”...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

The U.S. Supreme Court this week declined to hear a development association’s petition for review of a California Court of Appeal’s decision that the Mello-Roos Act of 1972 allows the City of San Ramon to levy a special tax...more

Breaking: Mass. SJC Overhauls SLAPP Statute Practice

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

The Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) today issued two decisions which together make important changes in how Massachusetts courts apply the often troublesome SLAPP statute, M.G.L. c. 231, § 59H, enacted in 1994. While of general...more

Supreme Court of California Ruling Elevates Responsible Agency Role Under CEQA - City's EIR Erred by Failing to Fully Disclose and...

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Banning Ranch Conservancy v. City of Newport Beach, et al., the Supreme Court of California held that lead agencies need to expressly disclose and consider the jurisdictional claims and regulatory opinions of responsible...more

Adverse Possession of an Easement: Mistakes, Gates, and Fences

Just as fee title to real property can be lost by adverse possession, the same is true with easements. In a recent opinion from California’s Sixth District Court of Appeal — Vieira Enterprises, Inc. v. McCoy — the court...more

Mike Knapek and Steven Dimitt Provide ‘Tips for Handling a RLUIPA Lawsuit’

by Jackson Walker on

Attorneys Mike Knapek and Steven Dimitt represent churches and religious institutions in matters related to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). In a recent article published by the American Bar...more

Appellate Court Rejects CEQA Claims on Project Modifications Made After Final EIR Published

by Holland & Knight LLP on

California's Fourth District Court of Appeal has provided useful guidance on processing requirements for environmental review documents prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) when project modifications...more

Safety Issue Can Be “Hardship” Justifying A Zoning Variance

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

The Massachusetts standard for granting a zoning variance is notoriously difficult to meet. In a nutshell it requires proof that: (1) due to circumstances concerning soil conditions, the shape of the lot, or the topography...more

Have We Seen the Last Dance for Quantitative Before Condition Goodwill Valuations?

by Nossaman LLP on

When a business is taken as a result of a public improvement, the business is entitled to seek compensation for, among other things, loss of business goodwill. Typically, this loss is calculated by measuring the business’...more

Supreme Court decision slashes empty rates bills for developers

by Hogan Lovells on

The rateable value of commercial premises is generally equal to the rent payable under a hypothetical letting on the relevant assessment date. There are some express statutory assumptions for this – it is to be an annual...more

A Condemnation Action is Looming — What are a Landlord’s Disclosure Obligations to Potential Lessees?

by Nossaman LLP on

Before an eminent domain action is filed, public infrastructure projects involve years of planning, environmental approvals, design, and property negotiations. During this time, property owners and real estate agents/brokers...more

Subsequent Mitigated Negative Declaration Reviewed Under Substantial Evidence Test

Coastal Hills Rural Preservation v. County of Sonoma et al. (2016) 2 Cal.App.5th 1234 - Why It Matters: The California Court of Appeal applied the substantial evidence standard of review and not the fair argument...more

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Issues Regulatory Guidance Letter on Approved Jurisdictional Determinations

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has just issued a Regulatory Guidance Letter which provides to property owners (including developers) the right of appeal USACE Approved Jurisdictional...more

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