The purpose of the 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.

New York Law Journal: Reasonable Probability of Rezoning as Component of Highest and Best Use

Michael Rikon authored a column in the April 26, 2016, edition of the New York Law Journal titled, “Reasonable Probability of Rezoning as Component of Highest and Best Use.” In his article, Mr. Rikon begins by explaining what the valuation concept of highest and best use is according to case law, the Appraisal Institute, and The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.  “Certainly, many owners do not manage their property in a way that provides the most productive highest and best use.”  But, once the property is condemned, it is valued at “the highest price obtainable in the market and … Continue reading

Posted in Eminent Domain, Highest and Best Use, Zoning | Leave a comment

Rhode Island Supreme Court Rules Eminent Domain Abandonment Right of First Refusal Does Not Pass With The Estate To Heirs

Under New York State Eminent Domain Procedure Law (“EDPL”) § 406, if the condemnor takes property by eminent domain and then abandons the project for which the property was acquired, and the property has not been materially improved, the condemnor may not dispose of the property for private use within ten years of acquisition “without first offering the former fee owner of record at the time of acquisition a right of first refusal to purchase the property at the amount of the fair market value of such property at the time of such offer.” If the acquisition was a partial … Continue reading

Posted in Cases of First Impression, Eminent Domain, Future of the law, Recent cases | Leave a comment

What to Do When You’re a Homeowner Threatened with Eminent Domain

The U.S. News Real Estate Section published an article on March 30, 2016, titled, What to Do When You’re a Homeowner Threatened with Eminent Domain. The article lists some guidelines to protect yourself and your property. Number one is to consult an attorney “as soon as you hear your property could potentially be taken for public use, which could come to you in the form of a mailed letter, in-person notice or phone call, depending on the government planning to take the property and its practices. Eminent domain is difficult, and not every lawyer is capable of navigating the details … Continue reading

Posted in Advance Payments, Challenging condemnation, Eminent Domain, Lawyers | Leave a comment

Tax Assessments are Irrelevant in a Condemnation Matter

We often observe condemnors attempting to use tax assessment records or real estate tax reduction applications to influence a court’s award of just compensation.  It is well-established that tax assessment values bear no resemblance to fair market value and are never relevant in a condemnation case. In a condemnation proceeding, the subject property must be valued at its highest and best use regardless of actual use.  Matter of City of New York (Clearview Expressway), 9 NY2d 439 (1961). The valuation of the subject property is set forth in the parties’ appraisal reports. Upon trial, all parties shall be limited in … Continue reading

Posted in Eminent Domain, Tax Certiorari, Uncategorized, Valuation | Leave a comment

New York Law Journal: Inverse Condemnation or De Facto Taking – What’s in the Name?

Michael Rikon authored a column in the February 23, 2016, edition of the New York Law Journal titled, “Inverse Condemnation or De Facto Taking: What’s in the Name?  In his article, Mr. Rikon discusses the difference between inverse condemnations and de facto takings, and that courts err in interchangeably using these terms. Mr. Rikon reviews the four different categories of inverse condemnations, also known as regulatory takings.  Mr. Rikon covers Lingle v. Chevron U.S.A., 544 U.S. 528 (2005), United States v. Causby, 328 U.S. 256 (1946), Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 505 U.S. 1003 (1992), Penn Central Transportation Company … Continue reading

Posted in Eminent Domain, Inverse Condemnation, Regulatory Taking, Uncategorized, Wetlands | Leave a comment