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City’s Handling of Application for Subdivision Approvals May Trigger Liability Under Fair Housing Act

The Federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, including discriminatory land use decisions, on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or familial status. The...more

Texas Supreme Court Argument Preview (9/14)

13-0080, RSUI Indemnity Co. v. The Lynd Co. - The primary issue in this insurance coverage case is how the policy limits of an excess property insurance policy should be calculated. The policy at issue covers multiple...more

Yet Another New Case On Standing to Foreclose

In July, the 2d DCA overturned a bank’s summary judgment on the grounds that the bank failed to rebut the defense of lack of standing. The frequency and similarity of these cases makes me think of the movie Goundhog Day!...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: August 2014 #2

former marital home entitled to homestead exemption under article X, section 4 of Florida Constitution because (1) decedent and former wife still owned home as tenants in common at time of his death; (2) decedent’s sons, whom...more

Texas Supreme Court Opinions and Orders (8/29/14)

As expected, the last order list of the Supreme Court's fiscal year was a busy one. The Court issued opinions in 12 argued cases, so I apologize in advance for the length of this post. There were no grants and no mandamus...more

City May be Liable for Damage to Residence from Falling Tree Under Inverse Condemnation

When is a tree a “public improvement” for purposes of inverse condemnation? According to one court, when the tree was planted by a city as part of a forestry program and maintained over a period of time. City of Pasadena v....more

A New Case On Standing to Foreclose

Legal standing to foreclose a note and mortgage continues to be an issue that frustrates plaintiffs and delights defense counsel. Florida courts have consistently held that standing must exist when the lawsuit is filed and...more

Fourth Amendment Precludes Inspection Of Private Property Even In Assessment Review Litigation

Recently there has been increasing debate regarding if and when assessing jurisdictions, or its agents, can invade the privacy of New York residents. Even New York’s governor has been impacted by this issue. Last week, the...more

Keeping its Options Open: Lodi Passes Resolution of Necessity as Negotiations Continue

As we have reported in the past, public agencies are often faced with deadlines to secure possession of necessary right of way and ensure project funding. Given the amount of time it takes to secure possession through the...more

Court Provides Guidelines on Valuing Natural Resources in Eminent Domain Proceedings

Valuing mineral rights in eminent domain proceedings is inherently speculative and can lead to wide swings in property valuations. So how do appraisers best deal with the uncertainty involved in mineral exploitation? The...more

An Assessor Must Consider A Claim For Prospective Property Tax Relief Involving Condemned Property Even If The Owner Files The...

In Olive Lane Industrial Park, LLC v. County of San Diego (July 18, 2014, D063337) -- Cal.App.4th --, the Court of Appeal considered whether the owner of property acquired by eminent domain could attain prospective property...more

Standing To Foreclose– Revisited

There have been several articles posted on this blog on the subject of standing – the legal right to enforce a promissory note and/or mortgage. This continues to be a popular issue for defense counsel to raise and, as a...more

Lake County, Illinois “Hat Trick”* Defeats Religious Meditation House in Federal Suit

In MAUM Meditation House of Truth v. Lake County, Illinois, No. 13-cv-3794 (N.D. Ill. 2014), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that Lake County, Illinois did not violate MAUM...more

Motions in Limine May be Used in Eminent Domain Proceedings to Determine Party's Interest in Property

"Motions in limine" are motions made shortly before trial, and they're typically filed in an attempt to limit the introduction of evidence to the jury. They are a powerful tool in eminent domain proceedings, and can be used...more

Governmental Power and Property Lines

On May 27, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Town of Dillon v. Yacht Club Condos. Home Owners Ass’n, 2014 CO 37. Overturning the rulings of both the trial court and the Colorado Court of Appeals, the...more

California Foreclosure Law: A Defaulting Borrower Cannot Enjoin A Foreclosure Sale By Asserting That The Lender Lacks Standing

Under California’s non-judicial foreclosure statutes, a defaulting borrower cannot enjoin a lender’s initiation of foreclosure proceedings by asserting that the lender lacks standing. (Keshtgar v. U.S. Bank, N.A. (2014) 192...more

Time Limit to Transfer Base Year Property Tax Value Expanded for Eminent Domain Takings

Californians who have owned their properties for years understand the benefits of Proposition 13: their property taxes are based upon the property's purchase price (with only small allowable annual increases), as opposed to...more

Florida Federal District Court Dismisses Miami’s Fair Housing Act Cases

On July 10, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed with prejudice the Fair Housing Act claims in three suits filed by the City of Miami against mortgage lenders. City of Miami v. Bank of Am.,...more

Appellate Court Notes

AC35632- U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Foote - Second time is the charm. Defendant succeeded in getting plaintiff’s foreclosure action dismissed for lack of standing due to the inability of the witnesses to establish that the...more

Where Subdivision Access Is Uncertain, Approval of the Subdivision Must Be Contingent Upon Judicial Resolution

In the case of Shinn v. Bd. of Comm’rs of Clearwater Cnty., released June 17, 2014, the Idaho Supreme Court covered some new ground and revisited some old ground....more

Property Reserve on Hold: Supreme Court to Review Eminent Domain Right of Entry Statutes

Just a few months ago, the California Court of Appeal handed down a significant decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court which nearly eviscerated public agencies' ability to make use of the statutory "right of entry"...more

Tax Injunction Act Bars Challenge to Local Demolition Tax

Recently, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied a challenge to a municipal tax on the demolition of real estate based on the strict enforcement of the Tax Injunction Act. This decision reinforces long-standing...more

Recent Cases Support Foreclosing Lenders against Challenges to Standing

The Florida Second District Court of Appeals recently ruled on yet another challenge to a note holder’s standing to foreclose based on lack of ownership of the mortgage. In OneWest Bank, F.S.B. v. Bauer (May 30, 2014), the...more

“Predatory Lending” Claims by Cities and Counties Against Financial Institutions Escalate in 2014

Cities and counties that have experienced increased foreclosure and vacancy rates in the aftermath of the housing market crash of 2007-2008, perhaps emboldened by recent court decisions, have recently filed several new...more

High Court Will Hear Religious Exemption Case

As reported in an earlier post, entitled New York Pagan Phryganium Wins Real Property Tax Assessment Appeal, the Third Department recently held that the Town of Catskill improperly denied a pagan religious group a real...more

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