Residential Real Estate Constitutional Law

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Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending October 10 & October 17, 2014

REAL PROPERTY CASES - - Sinkhole Loss/Statute of Limitations: homeowners’ lawsuit was barred by the one-year statute of limitations, even though lawsuit was filed promptly after FIGA processed the claim and made a...more

Texas Supreme Court Argument Preview (10/14)

No. 13-0199, Steadfast Financial LLC v. Bradshaw - This is an oil & gas royalty dispute in which a non-participating royalty owner sued the owner of the executive right for failure to obtain a higher royalty interest in a new...more

Contractors: Beware the Subordination Clause

Did you know that California is the only state in the country in which mechanics liens are a constitutional right? Tis true. Article XIV of the California Constitution states: Mechanics, persons furnishing...more

Religious Institutions: October 2014

Timely Topics - Church splits and property disputes are not new, but they have certainly grown in number in recent years. In the seminal case on church property disputes, Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679, 20 L....more

New York State Court Rules That Darwin Has Duty to Defend but AIG Does Not, for Same Risk, Based on Differing Policy Language

New York state court Judge Shirley Werner Kornreich recently ruled that American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”) didn’t have to pay certain defense costs for various suits brought against QBE Holdings, Inc. and its...more

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

Editorial: Drowning in Place: Local Government Costs and Liabilities for Flooding Due to Sea-level Rise

Many areas of Florida are experiencing increased tidal flooding due to sea-level rise (SLR). Florida has experienced eight to nine inches of SLR over the past 100 years. The roughly four and one-half inches of rise in the...more

Southeast State & Local Tax: Important Developments - August 2014

The Williams Mullen Southeast State and Local Tax (SESALT) team is pleased to provide you with a comprehensive recap of important tax developments around the Southeast....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

Property Tax Foreclosure: Tax Authority May Have to Pay for Equity in Property

A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a property tax foreclosure as a fraudulent transfer and then to recover damages from the foreclosing county. The bankruptcy court agreed that the transfer was a fraudulent conveyance, but...more

Did Koontz Stop Illegal Development Exactions?

Much was written by law school professors and property rights groups following the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District (2013), which found that land-use permit...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

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