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.

  • HOW DO WE GET TO THE BEACH? PART II. MARTINS BEACH v SURFRIDER FOUNDATION

    I first wrote about this subject in our blog dated May 21, 2018.  The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari on October 1, 2018 to Martins Beach 1, LLC v Surfrider Foundation, _____ U.S. _____, 2018 U.S. LEXIS 5704.  The Court refused to hear an appeal by an owner to overturn a ruling that a beach access path must stay open. The access to the beach was located near Half Moon Bay, California.  The property never had public access.  The beach could only be accessed by driving down a private… read more

    Posted in Beach Access, Per Se Taking, Public Trust Doctrine
  • ADVERSE POSSESSION OF CONDEMNED LAND

    Among the many interesting calls that I receive, this one is a doozy.  Many years ago, the City condemned property for urban renewal.  But never moved forward after acquiring title.  It did nothing and the land remained vacant.  Then after a passage of over 15 years, someone conveyed title to the parcel.  This sale was from an owner to another private party. The grantee, however, did not pay the City’s real estate taxes.  So, after a period of years, the City foreclosed on its tax lien taking title once again… read more

    Posted in Adverse Possession, Title
  • JUST IN THE KNICK OF TIME – KNICK V. TOWNSHIP OF SCOTT

    It is very rare, yet it’s going to happen.  The United States Supreme Court will hear an eminent domain case.  The case brought by our friends at Pacific Legal Foundation involves a somewhat bizarre fact pattern.  Okay, it is totally weird.  The Township of Scott, Pennsylvania passed an ordinance affecting private properties determined to be or contain cemeteries. In relevant part, the ordinance required that “all cemeteries within the Township . . . be kept open and accessible to the general public during daylight hours” and that no owner could… read more

    Posted in Fifth Amendment, Knick v Township, Ripeness of Claims, Williamson County
  • WE DON’T WANT TO PAY NO STINKING INTEREST – THE STATE OF NEW YORK’S CONTINUED BAD FAITH IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW

    Jonathan Houghton recently won two appeals in the Second Department. Matter of Sagres 9, LLC v State of New York, 2018 NY Slip Op. 05932 and 05933 (2d Dept. August 29, 2018). The appeals concerned the failure of the State to pay statutory interest at 9%.  In the two different appropriations, the State deposited advance payments with no notice or explanation to Claimant.  There was absolutely no reason for the deposits.  In fact, the improper deposit with the Comptroller into its eminent domain accounts, pursuant to State Finance Law Sec…. read more

    Posted in Advance Payments, interest, Just Compensation, State Finance Law Sec. 97-dd
  • TIME TO PROVIDE FOR A JURY TRIAL FOR CONDEMNATION CLAIMS

    New York’s Eminent Domain Procedure Law (EDPL) provides that the Supreme Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine all claims from the acquisition of real property and hear such claims without a jury or without referral to a referee or commissioners.  EDPL § 501(B).  If the property is acquired by the State, the claim will be litigated in the Court of Claims.  EDPL § 501(A).  All claims in the Court of Claims are tried by a Court of Claims Judge without a jury.  In United States v 243.22 Acres of… read more

    Posted in Jury Trial, Just Compensation