The purpose of the Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C. Eminent Domain Blog is to provide the public with information about the practice of eminent domain law. We also hope to share relevant updates and legal developments affecting this area of the law.

  • CAN A PUBLIC BENEFIT CORPORATION INSIST ON CONFIDENTIALITY AS PART OF A SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT?

    Counsel for public benefit corporations often insist on the inclusion of a confidentiality provision in their settlement agreements.  Often claimants refuse to agree.  But many claimants are anxious to finally wind up their litigation and recover their award.  The issue is can a public benefit hide the payment of just compensation?  Isn’t the settlement something of great concern to the public, the press, legislative overseers and the bar in general?  An often overlooked consequence is that a claimant agreeing confidentiality may find unanticipated tax consequences.  See, for example, Amos v… read more

    Posted in Confidentiality, Settlement Agreements
  • PIPELINE TAKINGS – TIME TO RECONSIDER THEIR POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN

    If you monitor eminent domain issues on a national level, you must be aware that by far the greatest controversy has focused on pipeline takings. The United States has the largest network of energy pipelines in the world, generally accepted to be 2.5 million miles, more recently, because of fracking, massive new pipeline building has been taking place.  Most of those lines are for oil.  Some states make a distinction between oil and gas pipelines.  Gas pipelines would not have the federal statutory priority and would be subject to state… read more

    Posted in Partial Takings, Pipeline Takings
  • IF REAL PROPERTY WAS CONDEMNED FOR A PUBLIC PURPOSE, MAY IT BE CONDEMNED AGAIN FOR ANOTHER USE?

    Generally, a property presently used for a public purpose may not be condemned.  See New York, L. & W.R. Co. v Union Steam-Boat Co., 99 NY 12 (1885).  Nor may property owned by a higher sovereign be acquired without consent.  This is known as the prior public use doctrine.  As the New York State Court of Appeals has noted, “[t]o defeat the attainment of an important public purpose to which lands have already been subjected, the legislative intent must unequivocally appear.”  In re City of Buffalo, 68 NY 167, 175… read more

    Posted in Condemnation Procedures, Eminent Domain
  • SUPREMACY CLAUSE? WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING SUPREMACY CLAUSE!

    On December 7, 2016, the Appellate Division, Second Department handed down Monroe Equities, LLC v State of New York, 2016 NY Slip Op 08206.  The decision affirmed the dismissal of a claim for damages based on the contention that the application of watershed regulations precluding the right to install a septic system constituted a per se taking under Lucas v South Carolina Coastal Council, 505 US 1003, requiring compensation under the Takings Clause of the United States Constitution because claimant was deprived of all economically beneficial use of its property…. read more

    Posted in Recent cases, Regulatory Taking
  • WHEN A JUDGE GETS IT ABSOLUTELY RIGHT: Matter of Village of Haverstraw (AAA Electricians, Inc.)

    Like many condemnation proceedings by small towns and villages, the Village of Haverstraw taking of some 19 acres owned by our client AAA Electricians, Inc. represented a severe example of eminent domain abuse. The vacant land was taken for the construction of luxury condominiums on the Hudson River.  By Decision and Order dated August 5, 2016, the Honorable Bruce E. Tolbert awarded the claimant $1,190,582 as an additional allowance pursuant to Section 701 of New York’s Eminent Domain Procedure Law. The case was litigated over a thirteen year period of… read more

    Posted in Additional Allowances, Eminent Domain