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Stemming the Blight: New Jersey Supreme Court Affirms Eminent Domain Powers

The New Jersey Constitution provides for taking of blighted property for the purposes of development, redevelopment or to clear such property of blight. ...more

A “Magnificently Convoluted and Contentious” Plat

Plats continue to be a source of frustration, uncertainty and expense for owners of waterfront property. In Sims Township v. Arenac County Drain Commissioner, the Michigan Court of Appeals described a "magnificently...more

Same-Sex Marriages Recognized for Inheritance and Realty Transfer Tax Purposes

In Inheritance Tax Bulletin 2015-01 and Realty Transfer Tax Bulletin 2015-01, issued on February 25, 2015, the PA Department of Revenue announced its policy concerning same-sex marriages and the impact of the May 20, 2014...more

The New Jersey Supreme Court has reopened the doors to Affordable Housing Litigation

The New Jersey Supreme Court has unanimously held that the administrative process run by COAH in which municipalities show compliance with affordable housing obligations is no longer working and municipalities are no longer...more

News Flash: Courts Still Defer to an Agency’s Interpretation of Its Own Rules

The Supreme Court today ruled that, when an agency revises its interpretive rules, it need not go through notice-and-comment rulemaking. Although the decision, in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, required the court to...more

Another NY Appellate Division Holds that Appraisers have “No Right” to Inspect a Private Residence under the Fourth Amendment

We previously reported on a Second Department case that held a municipal agent (including a private appraiser hired by a municipality) is not automatically entitled to an inspection of a private residence to prepare an...more

Best in Law: Tug-of-War Over Changing Prop. 13 Remains Intense

A “split roll” might sound like something you would find in a bakery. But in fact, it is a real property tax concept that has been the subject of a tug-of-war since Proposition 13 was overwhelmingly passed by California...more

Can a Condominium Association Ban Smoking in an Individual Unit?

States, cities and businesses are banning smoking in more and more places. Can condominium associations do the same by prohibiting residents from lighting up in their own homes? Many American smokers may think that’s...more

How Hard Does it Have to Rain Before the Government is Liable for a “Condemnation Cloud?”

Public projects take years of planning and environmental review usually involving outreach to neighboring property owners and other stakeholders. During this process, potential right of way impacts are identified and property...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending February 20, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Sinkhole/Appraisal: reversing non-final order compelling appraisal of sinkhole claim because one is not appropriate under section 631.54(3)(c), Florida Statutes – Fla. Ins. Guar. Ass’n, Inc. v....more

Inverse Condemnation: When is Your Claim Precluded by the Arizona Statute of Limitations?

An inverse condemnation of a landowner’s property can occur when a governmental entity: (1) physically takes the property without compensation; or (2) passes a new law that has a serious impact on the value and/or utility of...more

Federal Mortgage Programs are Exempt from County Transfer Tax

In City of Spokane v. Fed. Nat. Mortgage Ass'n (December 30, 2014, No. 13–35655) ____ F.3d.___, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal recently affirmed that federal mortgage programs and administering entities, such as Fannie Mae...more

Is a tenant is entitled to attorney fees when landlord's anti-SLAPP motion is denied?

In Ben-Shahar v. Pickart, 2014 DJDAR 15712, the California Court of Appeal for the Second District decided a complex landlord/tenant case involving the interplay of unlawful detainer proceedings and California’s Special...more

Defining the “Larger Parcel” in Eminent Domain & Inverse Condemnation Actions

When a public agency acquires a portion of property, under California law the property owner is entitled to “severance damages” — or damages to the remainder portion of the property that was not acquired. Usually,...more

Valuing Rail Corridors

In the aftermath of last year’s Rails-to-Trails Decision, Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, 572 U.S. ___ (2014), the valuation of rail corridors may become increasingly necessary.  Typically there are three...more

Fairfax Circuit Court Limits Homeowners’ Ability to Challenge Zoning Administrator

Contentious land use approvals often result in lawsuits, which, even when unsuccessful, can lead to costly delays for developers. In the recent case styled In Re: November 20, 2013 Decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals of...more

U.S. Supreme Court hears disparate impact case

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case which questioned whether the Fair Housing Act (FHA) allows for a disparate impact theory of liability. The disparate impact theory of liability is one in which a...more

Third Time Is the Charm: U.S. Supreme Court Hears Argument in Disparate Impact Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.—the case presenting the issue of whether disparate impact claims are...more

Chapter 13 Debtors Choosing to Retain Residential Property and Not Claim Homestead Are Not Entitled to Wildcard Exemption

In Florida, it is well settled that a Chapter 7 debtor who does not claim or receive the benefit of the homestead exemption on his bankruptcy schedules is entitled to claim the “wildcard” exemption pursuant to Fla. Stat. §...more

U.S. Supreme Court Update - January 2015

Briefs Filed in Three State Tax Cases Set for Oral Argument - Merits briefs were filed in each of the three state tax cases on the Court's docket for the October 2014 Term. In Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v....more

Who's Packing? (and does it matter?) Schools, hospitals and government buildings ban firearms. Why don't more communities do the...

An otherwise peaceful and playful day this past summer at a southern Illinois homeowners association pool turned ugly when a resident with a history of behavioral problems became offended at a perceived slight. In...more

Fresh Bill In Newly-Convened N.C. State Legislature Aims At Condemnation Powers

Portending what is likely to be a significant legislative session for local government powers and real property rights in North Carolina, the first "substantial" bill introduced in the 2015-2016 session of the North Carolina...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rejects Municipal Foreclosure Ordinances

Can a Massachusetts municipality impose ordinances on banks that are more onerous than existing statewide law? In a recent landmark decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) answered “no.” In Easthampton...more

California Foreclosure Law: California Supreme Court Grants Review Of The Keshtgar Decision

As reported in our blog article below, in June the Second District Court of Appeal held that California’s non-judicial foreclosure statutes do not grant a defaulting borrower the right to enjoin a foreclosure sale by alleging...more

It’s Not Personal: Ninth Circuit Denies Putative Class Representative’s Appeal as Moot

In Campion v. Old Republic Protection Company, Inc., No. 12-56784, (Dec. 31, 2014) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a putative class representative’s appeal was moot because he had no personal stake in the case...more

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