Commercial Real Estate Constitutional Law

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California real estate: Change the ownership, increase the tax

In 1978, Proposition 13 was added to the California State Constitution limiting increases in assessed value of real property to help California real property owners, particularly retirees, from suffering drastic increases in...more

Property Tax and Valuation TOPICS: Fall 2016

October 1, 2016 Revaluations: If/When/How to Challenge Your Real Estate Property Assessment - Connecticut municipalities are required to carry out a general revaluation of all real estate within their boundaries at least...more

CFPB Hit by Major Setback in D.C. Circuit

In a decision eagerly awaited by the financial services industry, the D.C. Circuit this week handed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) a major defeat, throwing out a mortgage lender’s $109 million disgorgement...more

D.C. Circuit Rules CFPB’s Structure Unconstitutional

In a news-making decision with significant political implications, but probably limited near-term business or legal effects, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held on Tuesday, October 11,...more

Consumer Financial Services Law - October 2016

Court to CFPB: Unconstitutional and Wrong on RESPA - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has declared unconstitutional a core component of the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and...more

Oh, What Schemes of Glory This Business of Gambling Gives Birth To

Article 48, an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution adopted in 1918, states that “the people reserve to themselves the popular initiative, which is the power of a specified number of voters to submit constitutional...more

Municipal Condemnation of Privately Held Utilities Continues to be a Hot Issue, but at what Cost?

In January, I spoke at a conference in Austin about efforts by municipalities to condemn privately-held utility companies. At the time, I figured it would be a one-off presentation on a pretty niche issue, even for eminent...more

Judge Should Consider Constitutionality of a Dedication Requirement, Not the Jury

Every year or so, a new appellate court decision comes out addressing the proper role of the judge versus the jury on some certain eminent domain issue. Most recently, a trial court, appellate court and the California Supreme...more

Solar Industry Update:  What’s on the Back of My Ballot? What Amendment 4 Is All About

If you vote by mail, then you’ve likely already received your August 30 primary ballot with a proposed amendment to the Florida constitution on the back. It is Amendment 4, and it is the only amendment on the primary ballot....more

Do the Provisions of the Judicial Code Automatically Apply in Eminent Domain Cases? The Commonwealth Court Recently Said No.

On June 22, 2016, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court decided the case of Township of Millcreek v. Angela Cres Trust of June 25, 1998, 1725 C.D. 2015, which decided whether 42 Pa.C.S. § 5505 applies to eminent domain cases. ...more

Landowner’s Guide to Condemnation in South Carolina - The Government Wants Your Land…What Are Your Rights?

Government projects to build or expand roadways, erect public buildings, and install infrastructure, such as sewer, water and electrical lines, all require land. So long as building projects meet certain requirements,...more

Enacting and Enforcing Local Ordinances to Prohibit Medical Marijuana Dispensaries – Up in Smoke?

California’s cities and counties have a long and growing track record successfully defending challenges to their land use authority filed on behalf of medical marijuana dispensaries. These successes are largely a product of...more

Sikh Temple files suit after Oyster Bay, NY ordered it to stop work and then required SEQRA review

Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Center, Inc. (the “Temple”), on June 29, 2016 in the Eastern District of New York, sued the Town of Oyster Bay, New York, the Town Board, and several Town Officials (together, the “Defendants”) after...more

Wyoming Prohibits Trespassing For Resource Data Collection: Might Massachusetts Follow?

In a fascinating case, Judge Scott Skavdahl (who recently struck down BLM’s fracking regulations) dismissed challenges from NRDC and PETA, among others, to a Wyoming law that prohibits trespassing on private land for the...more

Can Technology Preserve Government Rights of Entry?

As we await the California Supreme Court’s decision in the Property Reserve case (see related posts here and here), many government agencies are faced with the question of what they will do if the justices deem the current...more

Oakley to Condemn Century-Old Building for Street Widening Project

As cities become more dense and urbanized, it is common for infrastructure to get outdated or insufficient to handle increased demand. We see this with roads, highways, schools, and even utilities. When new infrastructure...more

Muslim Group Rejects New Jersey Township’s Offer to Resubmit Mosque Application

Bernards Township, New Jersey has invited the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge to resubmit an application to develop a mosque. Earlier this year, the Township denied the Islamic Society’s application for a 4,250 square foot...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide "Critical Question" in Eminent Domain

This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide a critical question that will determine whether some landowners will receive compensation from regulations that restrict the uses of their land. The case, Murr v. Wisconsin, may...more

Supreme Court Reinforces Strict Rule On Citizenship of Unincorporated Entities for Diversity Jurisdiction to the Detriment of...

Article III of the U.S. Constitution extends the jurisdiction of federal courts to “[c]ontroversies … between Citizens of different States.” U.S. Const. art. III, § 2, cl. 1. “This rule is easy enough to apply to humans, but...more

State Statutes Requiring MERS To Pay Higher Recording Fees Declared Constitutional

On February 23, 2016, in the case of MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. et al. v. Dannel P. Malloy et al., the Connecticut Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of certain state statutes which impose higher fees for mortgage...more

Property Reserve Case Set for Oral Argument

The California Supreme Court announced today that the Property Reserve case will be heard on May 3, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in San Francisco. (I’m assuming this is not an April Fool’s joke, since eminent domain attorneys have...more

Hospital property tax exemption under attack in Illinois

On Jan. 5, 2016, the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court ruled in the Carle Foundation Hospital case that an Illinois state law providing for property tax exemptions for certain not-for-profit hospitals is...more

Religious Institutions Update: March 2016

Timely Topics - The death of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia will have an uncertain effect on religious institutions. Justice Scalia delivered the majority opinion in Employment Div. v. Smith, 494 U.S...more

Pennsylvania Court Confirms That School Districts May Target High Value Properties When Appealing Tax Assessments For The Purpose...

Valley Forge Towers Apts. N, LP v. Upper Merion Area School District, 124 A.3d 363, 365 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2015). The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court holds that when a school district has reasonable and financial considerations...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide "Critical Question" in Eminent Domain

This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide a critical question that will determine whether some landowners will receive compensation for regulations that restrict the uses of their land. The case, Murr v. Wisconsin, may...more

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