Eminent Domain

News & Analysis as of

New Hurdles for Public Agencies: Accessing Property May Now Require Eminent Domain Actions

For the first time in 38 years, a court has declared part of California’s statutory eminent domain law unconstitutional. The ruling, if upheld, will create additional hurdles for public agencies and may have unintended...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

Brandt Revocable Trust v. U.S. – the United States’ theory of land ownership derailed

In Brandt Revocable Trust v. U.S., the United States Supreme Court held that abandoned railway rights-of-way that had been granted to railroad companies under the General Railroad Right-of-Way Act of 1875 left underlying...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

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

“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

SCOTUS: Federal Government Retains No Interest in Abandoned Railroad Rights-of-Way

Congress grants a railroad a right-of-way across public land. The federal government then grants the land to a private landowner, who takes the parcel subject to the railroad right-of-way. The railroad later...more

Supreme Court Ruling Represents Major Shift for Railroad Rights of Way

This week, the Supreme Court ruled that the United States Forest Service could not construct a trail on an abandoned railroad right of way (ROW) that crosses through private property. Brandt v. United States, No. 12-1173,...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

Part II: Is a Public Hearing Mandatory Pursuant to the Eminent Domain Procedure Law?

Our first installment in this series on condemnation procedures detailed a key element of the process found in the New York Eminent Domain Procedure Law (“EDPL”) – the public hearing. While the condemnation process generally...more

Keystone XL Pipeline Project Halted in Nebraska

On Wednesday, a Nebraska District Court dealt the Keystone XL pipeline project a heavy blow. The court invalidated a law that allowed the state's governor to approve the pipeline's passage through Nebraska. The court ruled...more

Redevelopment Wind-Down: A Few Random Thoughts

I saw a couple of California redevelopment-related stories over the past week that seemed worthy of at least a brief comment. First, a court decision involving a rather bold argument by a public agency. ...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

Treasury Department Opposes HARP Expansion, Use Of Eminent Domain

On January 22, Michael Stegman, Treasury Department Counselor for Housing Finance Policy stated in remarks to an industry conference that the Treasury Department opposes expansion of the Home Affordable Refinance Program...more

Encinitas Contemplates Eminent Domain for School District Property

It's not too often you see one government agency threaten another agency with eminent domain. But it does happen. A recent article by Barbara Henry in the U-T San Diego, Encinitas has few options on Pacific View site,...more

Real Estate Tip – Part 2: Planning Board Demands: When Are They Unconstitutional?

Koontz v. St. John’s River Water Management District 133 S.Ct. 2586 (2013) - In our last real estate tip, we saw how the U.S. Supreme Court under the Nollan and Dolan cases test conditions of approval under the 5th...more

City of Benicia Moves Forward with Potential Eminent Domain for Bus Hub Project

The City of Benicia recently secured funding to build the Benicia Industrial Park Bus Hub, a project that has been on the City's drawing board for years. But there are still some hurdles to construction. The City will need...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

ACLU Seeks FHFA Documents On Eminent Domain Analysis

On December 5, ACLU-affiliated entities and borrower advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California seeking to compel FHFA to produce “all [FHFA] records pertaining to the use of eminent domain to...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

California Supreme Court to Hear Eminent Domain Case

In August, I reported on the decision in City of Perris v. Stamper, in which the Court of Appeal weighed in on the ever-shifting line dividing the judge and jury's roles in eminent domain cases. At the time, I poked a bit of...more

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