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Recent Trends In Eminent Domain -- And What To Expect Next

2013 felt a bit like deja vu, as much of the year was dominated by recurring themes: redevelopment dissolution issues, headlines on the condemnation of underwater mortgages, the U.S. Supreme Court showing interest in takings,...more

Court Decision Raises Questions About Viability of Precondemnation "Right of Entry" Efforts

Last week, the Court of Appeal issued a decision that may be one of the ones we look back on as among the most significant of 2014 (at least in the world of eminent domain). For years (and certainly for the entire 20 years...more

2013 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2014 Forecast

It's become our custom this time of year to provide our readers with an eminent domain recap from last year along with our thoughts on what to expect in 2014. 2013 felt a bit like déjà vu, as much of the year was dominated...more

“Procedural and Evidentiary Issues in Condemnation Cases: What Gets in and What Doesn’t?”

Traditional eminent domain trial work is unique. Liability, in the true sense of the word, is not at issue, and very often there is only one simple question for the jury to answer – what amount of money will adequately and...more

On Remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Affirms Ruling that Temporary Flooding Resulted in Compensable Taking

As you may recall, last December we reported on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States, in which the Supreme Court held that government-induced flooding of limited duration may...more

Koontz: The latest chapter in land use permitting and takings

In a landmark environmental case, the United States Supreme Court expanded the scope of potential governmental liability for takings. In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Mgmt. Dist, 133 S. Ct. 2586 (2013), the Court held that...more

When Projected Eminent Domain Litigation Costs Exceed the Value of the Property Acquisition

Eminent domain litigation can be expensive. Acquiring small strips of property often costs more in legal and appraisal costs than the value of the property itself. Sometimes public agencies have no choice but to condemn...more

Supreme Court Taking Another Takings Case

The Supreme Court is apparently not done with its recent interest in takings decisions. Following the decisions in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States, Horne v. Department of Agriculture, and Koontz v. St....more

When Inverse Condemnation and Eminent Domain Overlap: Owners Beware of Attorney Contingency Fee Arrangements

Property owners are routinely hiring attorneys well in advance of a public agency's filing of an eminent domain action. Many times, the representation begins before it is even certain whether the agency will actually move...more

Sometimes A Taking Is Not Really 'Taking'

The background facts of a recent Federal Circuit opinion, TrinCo Investment Co. v. United States, No. 2012-5130 (July 18, 2013), seem deceptively simple: the government removes $6.6 million of timber from private property...more

California High-Speed Rail - What You Need To Know

Project Overview - The California High-Speed Rail Authority (“HSR”) plans to build an 800-mile high-speed rail system stretching from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim and eventually to Sacramento and San Diego....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

Judge Or Jury? A Critical Eminent Domain Question Answered

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 Continuing Effort to Define the Line Between Court and Jury Roles in Eminent Domain

Eminent domain attorneys struggle with a concept foreign to most civil litigators: figuring out the roles of the judge and jury. Even most non-attorneys know the basic rule of trial: the jury is the "fact-finder." But in...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

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review of Union Trespassing Case in California

Labor unions recently won a victory over employers in California when the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of the California Supreme Court's decision in Ralphs Grocery Co. v. UFCW. The California court had upheld two state...more

Court Stops Serial Plaintiff's Latest Effort: Payne v. Chapel Hill North Properties

The United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina recently dismissed an Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) case filed by Denise Payne, a Florida resident, and National Alliance for Accessibility,...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

Banks are Entitled to Recover Compensation in Condemnation Actions

Eminent domain or condemnation is the process by which the government is permitted to acquire a citizen’s private property for public use, after paying just compensation. Typically, property is acquired by the government...more

County’s Interpretation Of General Plan Amendment Amounted To Regulatory Taking

A county interpreted a voter-enacted amendment to its general plan to prohibit the completion of a self-storage facility on property owned by Lockaway Storage, a project that was in the works before the amendment went into...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

The Mechanics of Mechanics Liens

One of the most effective payment remedies for direct contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers is the mechanics lien. First conceived by Thomas Jefferson to encourage construction of the then “new” capital city of...more

Another Failed Regulatory Takings Claim Under Penn Central

We've talked in the past about just how hard it is to state a regulatory takings claim under the Supreme Court's decision in Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, 438 U.S. 104. I'd go through the test and how...more

Jury Sides With Property Owner in Solano County Eminent Domain Trial

According to an article in the Daily Republic, Jury: County owes $1.24M in eminent domain dispute, Solano County and a local land owner recently completed an eminent domain trial, and the jury sided with the owner. The case,...more

Follow Up on IRWA/Appraisal Institute "2012 Eminent Domain Year in Review" Presentation

For those of you who attended the joint meeting today between Chapter 1 of the International Right of Way Association and the Appraisal Institute, we promised to post a cheat sheet that reminds you about the cases associated...more

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