Condemnation

News & Analysis as of

Challenging the Right to Take: What Happens When a Government Agency Requires a Property that is Already Devoted to a Public Use?

Often times government agencies require property for a public project that is already put to a public use. What are the acquiring agency’s options, assuming an agreement cannot be reached prior to filing a condemnation...more

New Eminent Domain Law May Require Business-Litigation Approach To Condemnation Cases

The Charlottesville paper recently ran an interesting story about how local road improvement projects will test the limits and scope of the Commonwealth's new eminent domain law. The new laws are comprised of reforms passed...more

City May Be Liable for Damage to Home Caused by Falling Tree in Inverse Condemnation and Nuisance

During a windstorm, a tree owned by the City of Pasadena fell on Mr. O’Halloran’s residence, causing damage to his home. Mercury Casualty Company paid Mr. O’Halloran for the damage pursuant to his homeowner’s insurance...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

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

Middle District of Pennsylvania: Neither Unprofessionalism of Lower-Level Claims Employees Nor Failure to Interview Insured’s...

Honesdale Volunteer Ambulance Corp. Inc. v. Am. Alternative Ins. Corp., CIV.A. 3:11-1488, 2014 WL 1203317 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 24, 2014) - Middle District of Pennsylvania grants summary judgment on bad faith claim where...more

Legal Update: Government Precondemnation Entry and Inspection – A Review of Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court (2014)

There are four ways the government can enter onto private property: - It has permission of the property owner. - In an emergency (Tenth Amendment/police power). - It has a search warrant, based on...more

Flash Boys and the Transportation Corridor Act

Michael Lewis' new book, Flash Boys concerns high frequency traders using advance notice of a stock purchase to reap extra profits. Fittingly, the North Carolina Supreme Court's decision in Beroth Oil v. NCDOT was published...more

Ruling May Put The Brakes On Some CEQA Investigations

For years, public agencies have utilized a statutory "right-of-entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with a condemnation action....more

Precondemnation "Right of Entry" Statutes Challenged as Unconstitutional Takings

For years, public agencies have utilized a statutory "right of entry" procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing before deciding whether to move forward with a condemnation action. ...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

“Procedural and Evidentiary Issues in Condemnation Cases: What Gets in and What Doesn’t?”

Traditional eminent domain trial work is unique. Liability, in the true sense of the word, is not at issue, and very often there is only one simple question for the jury to answer – what amount of money will adequately and...more

Pre-Condemnation Entry Statutes Found Unconstitutional

Direct Condemnation Action Needed to Conduct Statutory Pre-Condemnation Studies - For the first time in 38 years, a court has declared part of California’s statutory eminent domain law unconstitutional. On March 13,...more

City of Sacramento Condemning for its Kings

The City of Sacramento took another step forward on the plan for a new multi-million dollar arena for the Sacramento Kings. Last Tuesday, in a 7-2 vote, the city council passed a resolution of necessity approving the use of...more

Is Your Property Next? California Authorizes Condemnation of Fresno County Property for High Speed Rail Project

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (the “Authority”) first request to seize a parcel in Fresno County through eminent domain has been approved by the State Public Works Board (the “SPWB”), the state agency that...more

The Keystone Pipeline's Legacy in Texas Condemnation Law

Construction of the 485-mile-long southern portion of the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline system (known as the Gulf Coast Project) is scheduled to be completed and operational by the end of 2013, but it leaves a legacy of...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

Eminent Domain approved for Agoura Hills Street Widening

Last week, the Agoura Hills City Council approved acquiring 14 properties through eminent domain for its Augora Road Widening and Canwood Street Improvement Project, as reported by The Acorn. The purpose of the project is to...more

When Inverse Condemnation and Eminent Domain Overlap: Owners Beware of Attorney Contingency Fee Arrangements

Property owners are routinely hiring attorneys well in advance of a public agency's filing of an eminent domain action. Many times, the representation begins before it is even certain whether the agency will actually move...more

Federal Court Dismisses Challenge To California City’s Eminent Domain Plan

On September 16, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed one of two suits filed recently by investors to preempt a California city’s plan to seize certain mortgages using the government’s...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 City Votes To Pursue Eminent Domain Plan, Legal Challenge Found Not Ripe For Injunction

On September 11, the California city of Richmond reportedly voted to proceed with a plan to employ its eminent domain authority to seize certain mortgages. As previously described, the city recently demanded that owners and...more

Federal Court Halts Lender Underwater Mortgages Lawsuit Against Richmond

On September 12, the City of Richmond caught a small reprieve with respect to its plan to condemn underwater mortgages. As reported by Reuters, the federal district court ruled that the lawsuit filed by lenders Wells Fargo,...more

Condemnation of Property in California Can Get Messy: BB&K Attorney James Wyman Details Ways Public Agencies Can Ensure a Clean...

Condemning property for public projects in California is a hard reality for both government officials and the owners of property that is in the path of a new road, freeway expansion or mass transit project. There is often...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law September 12, 2013

The Virginia Supreme Court issued new opinions this morning, some of which affect local government law. Here they are (summaries taken from the Virginia Supreme Court website): PKO Ventures, LLC v. Norfolk Redev’t &...more

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