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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

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

B.C. Supreme Court Sets Aside B.C. Surface Rights Board Rent Review

In reasons released on May 30, 2014, the B.C. Supreme Court set aside the B.C. Surface Rights Board’s compensation award to a landowner in northern B.C. and remitted the case back to the Board for reconsideration: Progress...more

Entry Barred: California Precondemnation Entry Statutes Declared Unconstitutional in Some Circumstances

Provisions of California’s Eminent Domain law known as the “entry statutes” have for decades provided a mechanism for a condemnor, prior to initiating condemnation proceedings, to obtain a court order allowing it to enter...more

Trails-to-Rails-to-?: The Brandt Case and its Potential Impact on the Nation’s Trails

A recent Supreme Court case may have a far-reaching impact on many of the United States’ “rails-to-trails” biking and jogging paths. In March, the Supreme Court held in an 8-1 decision that rights of way granted to railroad...more

Arizona Supreme Court Holds That Property Owner Who Quarreled With Light Rail Construction Should Be Compensated For Lost Access

Late last week, the Arizona Supreme Court handed down a decision that clarified the rights of property owners who lose access to an abutting road and, in the process, reinforced the principle that both elimination and...more

Recent Trends In Eminent Domain -- And What To Expect Next

2013 felt a bit like deja vu, as much of the year was dominated by recurring themes: redevelopment dissolution issues, headlines on the condemnation of underwater mortgages, the U.S. Supreme Court showing interest in takings,...more

Court Decision Raises Questions About Viability of Precondemnation "Right of Entry" Efforts

Last week, the Court of Appeal issued a decision that may be one of the ones we look back on as among the most significant of 2014 (at least in the world of eminent domain). For years (and certainly for the entire 20 years...more

Court Rejects Statute Allowing Court Ordered Entry Onto Private Property by Public Agencies for Pre-Acquisition Testing

California Eminent Domain Law allows public agencies to obtain a court order permitting access onto private property to conduct pre-acquisition testing and inspections. These tests and inspections can help an agency...more

2013 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2014 Forecast

It's become our custom this time of year to provide our readers with an eminent domain recap from last year along with our thoughts on what to expect in 2014. 2013 felt a bit like déjà vu, as much of the year was dominated...more

Weekly Law Resume - January 2014: Conduct As Interference With Easement

Flora Dolnikov v. Dikran Ekizian - Court Of Appeal, Second District (December 19, 2013) - This case dealt with an easement for ingress and egress to undeveloped lots in the Hollywood Hills. In 1942, defendants’...more

Government Need Not Satisfy Nexus and Proportionality Tests if Dedication Requirement Does Not Otherwise Constitute a Taking

Landowners routinely have to give up something in return for a government agency’s granting a discretionary permit. However, there are limits, as the government agency cannot typically demand conditions that are not...more

NEW CASE ALERT (Easement Law): Refusing To Consent To Development Plans May Trigger Tort Liability For Interference With Easement

If an easement owner is required to obtain governmental approval in order to develop that owner’s property, and the neighboring property owner refuses to consent to the development (e.g. refusing to execute consent for a...more

No Private Attorney General Fees for Homeowner

In Donald A. Norberg v. California Coastal Commission (4th Dist., Div. 3, 10/25/13, G047522) ___Cal.App.4th___, 2013, the court of appeal reversed the trial court’s award of private attorney general fees because the...more

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. Sues to Block City of Richmond’s Condemnation of Home Loans

The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BNY) is seeking an injunction to prevent the City of Richmond, California from using eminent domain powers to seize and refinance more than 600 home loans with outstanding balances...more

Koontz: The latest chapter in land use permitting and takings

In a landmark environmental case, the United States Supreme Court expanded the scope of potential governmental liability for takings. In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Mgmt. Dist, 133 S. Ct. 2586 (2013), the Court held that...more

Supreme Court Taking Another Takings Case

The Supreme Court is apparently not done with its recent interest in takings decisions. Following the decisions in Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States, Horne v. Department of Agriculture, and Koontz v. St....more

Condeming Underwater Mortgages: Another Look at the Legality of it

OK, I'll admit it. A year ago I thought this whole condemnation-of-underwater-mortgages thing would die off pretty quickly. I predicted we'd never see any large-scale condemnation effort. So far, I've missed badly on the...more

California Supreme Court Set to Hear First Post-Koontz Takings Case

As reported by our colleague Robert Thomas on inversecondemnation.com, the California Supreme Court granted the California Building Industry Association's (CBIA) petition for review in California Building Industry Association...more

Update: Attorney Fees Provision in Government Code Section 65589.5(k) is Limited to Affordable Housing Developments

An applicant who wanted to subdivide a parcel of land into residential lots sought an award of attorney fees after he sued a county’s board of supervisors and won approval of his application. The court of appeal held that...more

A Cautionary Tale on Alleging Precondemnation Damages Versus a De Facto Taking

Eminent domain cases typically revolve around a "date of value" – the date on which property is valued in determining the amount of just compensation the condemning agency must pay. That date is set by statute; typically, it...more

California High-Speed Rail - What You Need To Know

Project Overview - The California High-Speed Rail Authority (“HSR”) plans to build an 800-mile high-speed rail system stretching from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim and eventually to Sacramento and San Diego....more

Owners of Condemned Property are Not Entitled to Precondemnation Damages When Decline in Property Value is Not Caused by Actions...

In People v. McNamara (--- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, Cal.App. 6 Dist., August 14, 2013), a California court of appeal considered whether the owners of property condemned by a state agency were entitled to precondemnation damages due...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Manipulation Of Judicial Process As Ocean Manhandles Homes

Can a community condemn shorefront cottages where the beach has eroded at 8 feet per year and the cottages interfere with emergency responders traveling along the beach? ...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

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