Civil Procedure Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Remedies

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Breathing New Life Into Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment

On Dec. 19, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a controversial decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania addressing the injunction entered by the Commonwealth Court enjoining the enforcement of a...more

Divisional Court Overturns Environmental Review Tribunal Decision and Allows Wind Project to Proceed

In an important decision for stakeholders in the Ontario renewable energy industry, the Divisional Court of Ontario overturned the July 2013 decision by the Environmental Review Tribunal (the ERT) in Ostrander Point. In its...more

High Speed Rail Decision on Track for Review at Court of Appeal

Last Friday, Governor Brown’s administration (the “Petitioners”) filed a petition for extraordinary writ of mandate and application for temporary stay with the California Supreme Court, challenging Superior Court Judge...more

Government Need Not Satisfy Nexus and Proportionality Tests if Dedication Requirement Does Not Otherwise Constitute a Taking

Landowners routinely have to give up something in return for a government agency’s granting a discretionary permit. However, there are limits, as the government agency cannot typically demand conditions that are not...more

Victory on Permit Conditions Does Not Justify Fee Award

In Norberg v. California Coastal Commission the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided a unique case arising from a permit dispute with the California Coastal Commission (“the Commission”)....more

No Private Attorney General Fees for Homeowner

In Donald A. Norberg v. California Coastal Commission (4th Dist., Div. 3, 10/25/13, G047522) ___Cal.App.4th___, 2013, the court of appeal reversed the trial court’s award of private attorney general fees because the...more

Guidance For Developers: Protect Against Liability Through Planning And Regulatory Compliance

Recently, Phillips Lytle attorneys successfully appealed an award of punitive damages against a developer found liable for flooding neighboring property. Unanimously reversing the Appellate Division, the New York Court of...more

California Supreme Court Set to Hear First Post-Koontz Takings Case

As reported by our colleague Robert Thomas on inversecondemnation.com, the California Supreme Court granted the California Building Industry Association's (CBIA) petition for review in California Building Industry Association...more

Landmark Decision Issued on Proper Environmental Baseline under

In a recent landmark California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") decision, Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (2013) 57 Cal.4th 439 (Smart Rail), the California Supreme Court issued its...more

Update: Attorney Fees Provision in Government Code Section 65589.5(k) is Limited to Affordable Housing Developments

An applicant who wanted to subdivide a parcel of land into residential lots sought an award of attorney fees after he sued a county’s board of supervisors and won approval of his application. The court of appeal held that...more

A Cautionary Tale on Alleging Precondemnation Damages Versus a De Facto Taking

Eminent domain cases typically revolve around a "date of value" – the date on which property is valued in determining the amount of just compensation the condemning agency must pay. That date is set by statute; typically, it...more

Pa. Litigation Update

This summer was anything but a sleepy period for decisions from Pennsylvania courts on issues important to the oil and gas industry. Here are summaries of four cases issued in July and August - one from the Third Circuit...more

Update! – New York State Court of Appeals Takes On Fracking Ban Case

In what will be a precedent-setting decision of national importance, yesterday the New York State Court of Appeals agreed to hear Norse Energy’s appeal of the Third Department’s decision upholding the Town of Dryden’s...more

A Jury in an Eminent Domain Action Must Decide if “Reasonable Probability” Exists that Government Will Require Dedication of Land...

A city planned to realign a truck route and offered the landowners compensation that valued the property as undevelopable agricultural land instead of its current zoning of light industrial. The city reasoned that the...more

Owners of Condemned Property are Not Entitled to Precondemnation Damages When Decline in Property Value is Not Caused by Actions...

In People v. McNamara (--- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, Cal.App. 6 Dist., August 14, 2013), a California court of appeal considered whether the owners of property condemned by a state agency were entitled to precondemnation damages due...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Manipulation Of Judicial Process As Ocean Manhandles Homes

Can a community condemn shorefront cottages where the beach has eroded at 8 feet per year and the cottages interfere with emergency responders traveling along the beach? ...more

In Eminent Domain Proceedings, the Likelihood and Constitutionality of a Dedication is a Jury Determination

When a public agency seeks to impose a land exaction on a planned development, the analysis of whether the proposed dedication meets the necessary "essential nexus" and "rough proportionality" tests is often cumbersome and...more

The Best Defense You’ve Never Heard Of – The Federal Enclave Doctrine Restricts Wrongful Termination Remedies

The relatively obscure Federal Enclave Doctrine is potentially a powerful arrow in the quiver of defense counsel, where the tortious act complained of occurred on federal land. In the context of employment-related claims, the...more

Plaintiffs Claim Victory In Sharp Park Case Despite Mixed Record Of Success

On July 1, 2013, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order granting, in part, Plaintiffs’ motion for attorneys fees in Wild Equity Institute v. City and County of San Francisco,...more

The 2013 U.S. Supreme Court Takings Trilogy

It’s the last week of the U.S. Supreme Court’s term, so the big 5-4 decisions are out. Tuesday the big decision was Koontz v. St. Johns River, a takings case. This completes the trilogy of takings cases in front of the...more

US Supreme Court Limits Governmental Power to Impose Conditions on New Development

The extent to which governmental authorities may condition land use permits on exactions and concessions from land use permit applicants has received extraordinary attention from the United States Supreme Court in recent...more

The Problem with the Supreme Court’s Regulatory Takings Jurisprudence? It Doesn’t Require a Taking

The Supreme Court ruled today, in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, that a property owner who is denied a land use permit on the ground that he refused to pay money to compensate for the harm to be caused...more

Failure To Separately Notice Consideration Of CEQA Document Violates Brown Act

In San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center v. County of Merced, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District held that the Merced County Planning Commission violated the Brown Act by adopting a CEQA mitigated negative...more

Texas Ninth Court of Appeals Issues Contrasting Opinions Addressing Pipeline Condemnation Authority

Recently, the Texas Court of Appeals for the Ninth District at Beaumont issued two contrasting opinions which provide guidance for the application of the Texas Supreme Court's 2012 decision in Texas Rice Land Partners, Ltd....more

Temporary Regulatory Takings Do Exist in California!

Given the maze of procedural and substantive hurdles involved, property owners rarely succeed with regulatory takings claims. Even when owners do win, it is yet more uncommon for courts to award damages, instead allowing the...more

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