Commercial Real Estate Constitutional Law

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Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Case Law Updates

I. FLORIDA STATE CASES - Quiet Title: deed reservation of right-of-way in favor of State, which applied only to tracts of land of 10 acres or more, did not attach to title of landowner of less than 10 acres and,...more

New Hurdles for Public Agencies: Accessing Property May Now Require Eminent Domain Actions

For the first time in 38 years, a court has declared part of California’s statutory eminent domain law unconstitutional. The ruling, if upheld, will create additional hurdles for public agencies and may have unintended...more

Continuing Care Retirement Community Denied Property Tax Exemption

The Illinois Appellate Court recently upheld the denial of a property tax exemption on both charitable and religious grounds for the Meridian Village continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Glen Carbon. A CCRC provides...more

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

Ruling May Put The Brakes On Some CEQA Investigations

For years, public agencies have utilized a statutory "right-of-entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with a condemnation action....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

Overreaching to Apply CEQA; Second District Strikes Down LA’s Attempted Mid-Game Rule Change in Tower Lane Properties

Sometimes in the land use world, municipal planners and other regulators need to be reminded of the simple things. For example, a fundamental precept of due process is that the rules cannot be changed in the middle of the...more

Legal Alert: Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States: Supreme Court Opens the Door to Potential Fifth Amendment Takings...

In what is commonly known as a rails-to-trails case, the U.S. Supreme Court held on March 10, 2014, in an eight-to-one decision, that certain railroad rights-of-way revert to private property owners following the railroad’s...more

Rails-to-Trails Decision: Supreme Court Holds that Government Does Not Retain Reversionary Interest

The "Rails-to-Trails" program sounds like such a great idea in theory: take old, abandoned railroad right of way and turn it into public trails. Who would complain about that? Well, it turns out lots of people might...more

Supreme Court Strikes Blow to "Rail-to-Trails" Program

In the latest in a string of recent U.S. Supreme Court cases that impact right of way issues, on Monday the Court issued its opinion in Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States (Case No. 12-1173, March 10, 2014). ...more

Redevelopment Wind-Down: A Few Random Thoughts

I saw a couple of California redevelopment-related stories over the past week that seemed worthy of at least a brief comment. First, a court decision involving a rather bold argument by a public agency. ...more

Real Estate Tip – Part 2: Planning Board Demands: When Are They Unconstitutional?

Koontz v. St. John’s River Water Management District 133 S.Ct. 2586 (2013) - In our last real estate tip, we saw how the U.S. Supreme Court under the Nollan and Dolan cases test conditions of approval under the 5th...more

Ordinance Authorizing Warrantless Inspections of Hotel Records is Unconstitutional

Motel owners challenged a Los Angeles Municipal Code provision requiring hotel guest records to be made available to any Los Angeles Police Department officer for inspection. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth...more

Real Estate Tip – Planning Board Demands: When Are They Unconstitutional?

Landowners and developers often complain that their property rights have been “taken” from them as the result of conditions of approval imposed by a planning board. After all, the U.S. Constitution’s 5th Amendment enshrines...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

California Supreme Court to Hear Eminent Domain Case

In August, I reported on the decision in City of Perris v. Stamper, in which the Court of Appeal weighed in on the ever-shifting line dividing the judge and jury's roles in eminent domain cases. At the time, I poked a bit of...more

New York Landowners Threaten State with Takings Claims over Drilling Moratorium

In a draft complaint circulated to its members this week, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York—a group of pro-drilling landowners—laid out several claims against state agencies and Governor Andrew Cuomo as a result of...more

CERCLA, RCRA, and Vapor Intrusion: Does What Happens in Vegas Really Stay in Vegas?

In Voggenthaler v. Maryland Square LLC, 724 F.3d 1050 (9th Cir. 2013), the defendants argued that contamination that happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas, and therefore the Commerce Clause barred the application of CERCLA. The...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

U.S. Court Rejects Challenge To CFIUS National Security Review

This blog previously reported in July 2013 on a lawsuit that Ralls Corporation brought against the President of the United States and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States challenging the President’s order...more

Mississippi's "Stop Notice" Statute Ruled Facially Unconstitutional Deprivation of Property

On October 10, 2013, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, citing lack of procedural safeguards, affirmed a district court's determination that Mississippi's "Stop Notice" statute is unconstitutional because it deprives...more

Governor Brown Vetoes Eminent Domain Bill, But I'm Not Sure Why

Earlier this week, Governor Brown vetoed AB 374, a bill to amend Code of Civil Procedure section 1263.510, the statute governing recovery of loss of business goodwill in an eminent domain case. But it's not the veto that...more

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