Takings

News & Analysis as of

Motions in Limine May be Used in Eminent Domain Proceedings to Determine Party's Interest in Property

"Motions in limine" are motions made shortly before trial, and they're typically filed in an attempt to limit the introduction of evidence to the jury. They are a powerful tool in eminent domain proceedings, and can be used...more

Governmental Power and Property Lines

On May 27, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Town of Dillon v. Yacht Club Condos. Home Owners Ass’n, 2014 CO 37. Overturning the rulings of both the trial court and the Colorado Court of Appeals, the...more

Time Limit to Transfer Base Year Property Tax Value Expanded for Eminent Domain Takings

Californians who have owned their properties for years understand the benefits of Proposition 13: their property taxes are based upon the property's purchase price (with only small allowable annual increases), as opposed to...more

Water, Water everywhere …

There were two court decisions this week regarding regulation of Maine rivers, one from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Watts v. BEP, and one federal, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay v. Hydro Kennebec, LLC. ...more

ESA Section 9 Case Dismissed Because of Allegations re Take

Earlier this month, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed a lawsuit brought under section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because, instead of attacking a specific project or...more

Supreme Court Decision in Keewatin Confirms Provincial Ability to Take up Treaty Lands

On July 11, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered its decision in Grassy Narrows First Nation v Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48, also known as Keewatin. The decision affirms the Court’s approach in Tsilhqot’in...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

Negligent Operation Of A Storm Sewer: A New Theory Of Climate Change Liability

We have written many times about the flawed design of the nation's flood maps in an era of climate change. And spoken about the potential for claims against professionals for failure to consider the effects of climate change...more

Maine Allows Expedited Foreclosure Of Abandoned Properties

On April 5, Maine Governor Paul LePage signed into law LD 1389, which expedites foreclosures on properties determined by a court to be abandoned by shortening the redemption period from 90 to 45 days....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

Court Clarifies "Taking" Of Endangered Species And Highlights What's "Enough" Under CEQA

In Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Dep’t of Fish & Wildlife, No. B245141 (Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Mar. 20, 2014), the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision, which found that the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s...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

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

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

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