Eminent Domain

News & Analysis as of

Oxnard Union High School District to Acquire Nearby Church Property

The Oxnard Union High School District began Eminent Domain procedures to acquire property owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The property is required for construction of a right-turn lane for the new...more

Property Reserve on Hold: Supreme Court to Review Eminent Domain Right of Entry Statutes

Just a few months ago, the California Court of Appeal handed down a significant decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court which nearly eviscerated public agencies' ability to make use of the statutory "right of entry"...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

California Investment Firm and City Team Up to Erase Mortgages Through Eminent Domain

If a California investment firm and the City of Richmond, California have their way, the mortgage industry may face a new threat: a plan to use government’s eminent domain power to seize homes where homeowners owe more than...more

City of Adelanto Halts Eminent Domain Efforts After Adopting Resolution of Necessity

Eminent domain litigation can be expensive. Not just the cost of acquiring the property (which is valued based on its highest and best use, and the "highest price" a willing buyer would pay), but the attorneys' fees, expert...more

Community Banking Excellence - Issue 2, 2014

In This Issue: - Another Perspective: Robert T. Braswell, President and Chief Executive Officer Carolina Bank: Mr. Robert T. Braswell is President and Chief Executive Officer of Carolina Bank. He has served in...more

New Tools in the Zoning Game

As of July 1, 2014, Virginia landowners will have a new tool to use in the zoning game. On April 6, 2014, Governor McAuliffe signed SB 578 into law. The bill provides a damages remedy for applicants seeking zoning or...more

North Carolina Trial Court Rules Unconstitutional State Law Transferring Ownership of City's Water System

Last summer, we blogged here about the dispute between the North Carolina General Assembly -- okay, the "State" -- and the City of Asheville over the State's efforts to transfer ownership and operation of the City's water...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

The Koontz Decision; Back to Florida

In the recent landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in Koontz v. St. Johns Water Mgmt. Dist., 133 S. Ct. 2586 (2013), the Court majority held that exactions sought by local governments, which are not rationally...more

When the Project Matters

Eminent domain presupposes that the government desires to acquire a property interest for a public project. The public project can be a road or a school or something far more exotic (think acquisition of an NFL team, as in...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

Report from Counsel: Insights and Developments in the Law - Spring 2014

In this Newsletter: - Before You Start a Business . . . - Estate Planning—Powers of Appointment - Public Use Required for Eminent Domain - Tax-Free Gains from Home Sales - Recreational-Use...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

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

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