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Sandy in the Courts

Hurricane Sandy (also known as Superstorm Sandy) struck the northeast coast of the United States in October 2012, causing an estimated $65 billion* in property damage, including wind damage, severe flooding and power outages....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

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

Massachusetts Superior Court Holds Construction Manager At-Risk Responsible for Design Errors / Holds that Spearin Doctrine Does...

The Worcester Superior Court recently issued a potentially landmark decision clarifying the risk that construction managers assume when entering into CM-At Risk contracts. ...more

Property Appeal Deadlines On Horizon

As we noted in our last newsletter, the deadlines for property assessment appeals are looming. Deadlines for these appeals vary by county, but most are either August 1 or September 1, so now is the time to analyze your...more

Federal Court in Pennsylvania Strikes at the Heart of the Residential Mortgage System; Can Commercial Syndicated Loans and...

On June 30, 2014, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an important decision on Pennsylvania’s recording statutes in the case of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Recorder of Deeds,...more

New York Court: Storm Surge is a Species of Excluded Flood

One of the most litigated issues in the Gulf States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was whether flood exclusions bar coverage for loss by storm surge. The courts ultimately decided that the answer was yes....more

In Frank Aragona Trust, Tax Court Holds that Trustees’ Activities as Employees Count for Purposes of Material Participation Under...

The issue of whether a trust has passive or non-passive income from its investment in a pass-through entity has taken on increased importance in light of the tax imposed on net investment income under Code Section 1411 of the...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

Sierra Club v. County of Fresno

Why it matters: The court refined its previous test for air quality impacts analysis under CEQA, and required recirculation of an EIR due to its failure to specifically analyze the impacts on human health resulting from the...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

What's a ROG and Can It Hurt Me? EIR Overturned For Failure to Explain Air Quality Impacts to Human Health

In Sierra Club v. County of Fresno (Cal. Ct. App. 5th Dist. May 27, 2014), the Fifth Appellate District found fault with the County of Fresno’s (County) review of the Friant Ranch Project (Project) under the California...more

Supreme Court rules that statutes of repose may bar state tort claims under CERCLA

On June 9, 2014, the United States Supreme Court, in CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, ruled that an individual state’s statute of repose is not preempted by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of...more

California Documentary Transfer Tax: Separate Unrecorded Statement of Tax No Longer Allowed After December 31, 2014

The California Documentary Transfer Tax Act requires the amount of documentary transfer tax due to be shown on the face of the document. However, if the party submitting the document for recordation requests, then the amount...more

UPDATE*: Understanding Philadelphia Zoning Law

Moving a project through the Philadelphia zoning process can seem like a daunting task – even after Philadelphia entirely revamped its zoning code. This article will familiarize applicants with the zoning process and help...more

What's More Appealing Than Property Taxes? Recent Kansas Legislative Changes Make This Year An Opportune Time to Appeal Yours

Do you or your company own real property in Kansas? If so, then challenging your property's tax valuation is more appealing than ever, thanks to the 2014 Kansas Legislature. ...more

Appellate Court Notes

AC35802 - Estate of Haburey v. Winchester - Widow was allowed to claim spousal benefits for deceased employee who worked at municipal sewage treatment facility. Commissioner could have properly found that exposure to...more

Bad Faith Claim Against Insurer Ruled Unsustainable by New York Federal Courts Where Based on Same Facts as Breach of Contract...

Two recent New York federal court decisions – 433 Main Street Realty, et al. v. Darwin National Assurance Co., No. 14-cv-587 (NGG) (VMS) (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 22, 2014) and County of Orange v. The Travelers Indemnity Co. No....more

County Property Assessment Appeals Deadlines Approaching!

Those who pay property tax in Pennsylvania have an annual opportunity to appeal the assessed value of property. Deadlines for these appeals vary by county, but most are either August 1 or September 1, so now is the time to...more

SJC Upholds Charitable Property Tax Exemption for Land Conservation Organization

On May 15, the Supreme Judicial Court released its opinion in New England Forestry Foundation v. Hawley, ruling that a 120-acre parcel of forest land owned by the Foundation in the Town of Hawley was eligible for the...more

Potpourri Of Issues In Foremost Building Bankruptcy Sale

In In re Scimeca Foundation Inc., 497 B.R. 783 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. 2013), a Chapter 7 trustee sought court approval for a sale of the debtor’s property and resolution of related issues over the objections of the debtor. In...more

Mainebiz Real Estate Insider – Reading Between the Liens

Maine has one of the most powerful mechanics lien laws in the country protecting contractors’ rights to get paid for their work, sometimes to the detriment of owners and mortgage holders. A mechanics lien creates a security...more

California Judicial Council Approves New Court Rules To Implement Expedited Procedures For CEQA Lawsuits Attacking Large...

New court rules will significantly expedite the timeline for lawsuits brought under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to challenge the certification of the environmental impact report (EIR) or the granting of...more

Lender Cleared From Being Classified As a "Developer" Under the Interstate Land Sales Act

Poyner Spruill has been keeping an eye out for lawsuits where the plaintiffs attempted to lump lenders in with developers for liability purposes and we are glad to report the North Carolina Court of Appeals has refuted such...more

No Reasonable Person Would Believe Contract Exclusion Applies to Wrongful Eviction

In John Doyle Trust, et al. v. Country Mutual Insurance Co., 2014 IL App (2d) 121238, the Illinois appellate court affirmed summary judgment entered against Country Mutual, finding it owed its insured landlords a defense for...more

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