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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

Contamination, Underwater Mortgages, and the IRWA Annual Education Conference

Along with my colleagues Brad Kuhn, Ben Rubin, and Katherine Contreras, I'm here in Hartford at the IRWA Annual Education Conference. It's been an interesting few days as we discuss eminent domain issues in the shadow of New...more

Continuing Uncertainty About the Exercise of Eminent Domain in Pennsylvania

The proliferation of unconventional natural gas production in the last few years has been an economic and energy boom to Pennsylvania and other key stakeholders, like local municipalities, exploration and production firms,...more

Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Bragg: A Summary for Non-Attorneys

The Texas Supreme Court's ruling in Bragg makes clear that, at least in some circumstances, a groundwater conservation district's denial or limitation of a permit seeking to pump groundwater for irrigation can constitute a...more

The Third Circuit Reinstates Nuisance Claims Against Cheswick Generating: Bad Idea

On Wednesday, in Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals revived class action nuisance claims brought by residential property owners living within one mile of GenOn’s Cheswick Generating Station....more

Proposition 26 Does Not Apply Retroactively to Existing Local Assessments, Fees, or Charges

Proposition 26 expanded the definition of the term “tax” for purposes of article XIII C of the California Constitution in order to halt evasions of Proposition 218. A Court of Appeal recently addressed whether Proposition 26...more

This Land is Your Land...Or Is It?

As the economy has improved in recent years, the state road department, municipalities and public utilities have all been gearing up to construct needed projects. To do this, the government typically requires lands in private...more

DISPUTE RESOLUTION - Oil & Gas Litigation - Heightened Scrutiny of Pipeline Companies' Common Carrier Status Perhaps a New Reality

Two recently-decided Texas cases illustrate that heightened scrutiny of pipeline companies' status as common carriers may be applied when landowners challenge their ability to secure easements by eminent domain. ...more

New Floodplain Ordinance Targets Oil and Gas Operations

The County Commission in Doddridge County, West Virginia is currently considering amendments to its Floodplain Ordinance as a result of a December 17, 2012 decision by the Circuit Court of Doddridge County. (Comments to the...more

The Supreme Court Speaks; Some Taxpayers Shudder

Originally published in the Commercial Property Executive on January 16, 2013. Property owners frequently raise legitimate questions about hard-to-fathom differences between assessments of similar properties, as well as...more

When is a Resolution of Necessity Tainted By Prior Agency Obligations?

One of the prerequisites to instituting an eminent domain action is the governing agency's adoption of a resolution of necessity to acquire the necessary property. At the time of adopting the resolution, the agency cannot be...more

High Court Weighs In on Surface Owners’ Appeal Rights

In Martin v. Hamblet, decided November 21, 2012, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals determined that a surface owner may not appeal issuance of a well work permit by the Department of Environmental Protection for a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Koontz IV, Reviewing Decision of Florida Supreme Court

We've delved into the background of the Koontz litigation here in past posts; suffice to say that it's a legal controversy between landowner Coy Koontz and his local water management district that has gone on for years (18...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinion Affecting Local Government Law: September 14, 2012

On September 14, 2012, the Virginia Supreme Court issued no opinions affecting the practice of Virginia local government law. Actually, that is not true. While no opinions involved cases with local government parties,...more

Lessons from a Long, Long Eminent Domain Battle

A few weeks ago, the California Court of Appeal issued an interesting unpublished decision detailing a long, drawn-out eminent domain battle in Riverside County. I haven't blogged about it yet because, well to be honest, it...more

City Did Not Violate Equal Protection Clause By Canceling Future Payments Of Lot Owners Who Owed Assessments While Refusing...

The United States Supreme Court held that a city did not violate the Equal Protection Clause when it forgave future payments of lot owners for sewer-related assessments but refused to provide refunds to lot owners who had...more

Substantial Justice in Eminent Domain Proceedings: The New Date of Valuation for Privately-Owned, Public Utility Companies By:...

Originally published in the Mississippi Bar Litigation Section Newsletter - May 2012. In 2011, amid much fanfare, Mississippi voters overwhelmingly approved an initiative to amend the Mississippi Constitution to...more

Supreme Court Rejects Railroad Commission Approval of Common Carrier Status in Condemnation Cases

On August 26, 2011, the Texas Supreme Court reversed and remanded a decision by the Ninth Court of Appeals to affirm the common carrier status and the eminent domain authority of a carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline company,...more

Illinois Legislature Passes Bills To Encourage Solar Energy Use

Article on bills passed by the Illinois General Assembly to encourage the use of solar energy. This article was written by Dave Scriven-Young, an attorney with Peckar & Abramson, PC, and was originally published on the...more

Allegheny County Countywide Reassessment Plan Adopted

As we previously reported in this newsletter, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down Allegheny County’s use of a 2002 base-year property tax assessment scheme as unconstitutional in Clifton v. Allegheny County (Pa. April...more

Comer, et al., v. Murphy Oil USA, et al.

En Banc Brief of Amicus Curiae The CATO Institute In Support of Defendants-Appellees

Mississippi homeowners sued 34 energy companies and utilities operating in the Gulf Coast for damage sustained to their property during Hurricane Katrina. The homeowners alleged that the defendants had emitted greenhouse...more

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