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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Redevelopment Law Amendments Enacted in New Jersey

Governor Chris Christie signed into law this week A-3615, which makes several important changes to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law (the “Redevelopment Law”). These changes will impact developers, municipalities and...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

The Third Circuit Reinstates Nuisance Claims Against Cheswick Generating: Bad Idea

On Wednesday, in Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals revived class action nuisance claims brought by residential property owners living within one mile of GenOn’s Cheswick Generating Station....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

Litigation News -- Summer 2013

In This Issue: "Can Bankruptcy Be A Tool To Combat Eminent Domain? Probably Not" and "Finding the Facts Before the Lawsuit Begins: Pre-Complaint Discovery in Pennsylvania" Excerpt from Can Bankruptcy Be A Tool...more

City of Santee Set to Commence Eminent Domain Actions

The City of Santee's Prospect Avenue Widening Project is moving forward, and because the City has not been able to secure all the necessary right of way voluntarily, the City is now poised to condemn the remaining interests...more

Legal Update: What The Crystal Ball Says About Koontz

As you may have heard, on June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in Koontz v. St. John’s River Water Management District 570 U.S. ___, 133 S.Ct. 2586 (2013). Koontz has been hailed by property rights...more

California Eminent Domain Updates

We haven't provided much in the way of updates recently on California infrastructure projects requiring eminent domain. Either we've been too busy to notice or it's been surprisingly quiet recently. But, some headlines did...more

Lender Involved Condemnation Part 2: Lender Concerns in Condemnation

This is the second installment in a series of articles related to lender-involved condemnations. The first installment provided a basic discussion of eminent domain and condemnation principles....more

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