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.

  • MAN WANTS HIS PROPERTY BACK – TOO LATE!

    A news story run by CBS News on August 6, 2018 reports that a former owner of land in the Bronx is fighting to get the land back from the City of New York.  The property, a 13,000 square foot parcel on Boston Road, was taken in 1967 apparently for a street widening. He has commenced a lawsuit because nothing was done with the property.  His attorney is hopeful that the City will work something out.  I am less sanguine of the results.  Under New York State Eminent Domain Procedure… read more

    Posted in Abandonment, EDPL Sec. 406, Partial Takings, Right of First Refusal
  • THE REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION OF VALIDITY OF VALUATION MEANS THAT TAX VALUATION CAN BE CHALLENGED

    Tax Certiorari cases are difficult enough but, should not be impossible.  The Fourth Department recently decided a case, Buscaglia v Assessor, Town of Hamburg, 2018 N.Y. App. Div. Lexis 4854 [4th Dept 2018], where it reversed an Order of Supreme Court, Erie County, which dismissed petitions to reduce assessed taxes. The property involved a waterfront parcel on Lake Erie.  The parties stipulated to the admission in evidence of their respective appraisal reports.  The Court agreed with the assessor that petitioner failed to overcome the legal presumption that respondents’ assessment was… read more

    Posted in Appraisal Evidence, Rebuttable Presumption, Substantial Evidence
  • A CONDEMNOR CAN KEEP TRYING TO CONDEMN – UNTIL IT GETS IT RIGHT

    The Third Department handed down a decision on June 21, 2018 in Johnson v Town of Caroga, ___ AD3d ____ (3d Dept 2018).  This was a challenge pursuant to EDPL 207 to a “Determination and Findings” adopted by the Town to acquire a roughly 15-foot-wide strip of land for the purposes of providing expanded access to a recreational trail.  There was an earlier and successful challenge.  Matter of Johnson v Town of Caroga, 157 AD3d 1025 (2018).  The Town issued resolutions recommencing the eminent domain process and this time got… read more

    Posted in Challenges to Determination and Findings, EDPL 207
  • CONDEMNATION’S MIGHTY HAND

    It surprises some that eminent domain in New York can be utilized to acquire property interests other than real estate fee title and trade fixtures.  Section 103(F) of the Eminent Domain Procedure Law (EDPL) defines real property as including “all land and improvements, …all easements and hereditaments, corporeal or incorporeal, and every estate, interest and right, legal or equitable, in lands or water, and right, interest, privilege, easement and franchise relating to the same, including terms for years and liens by way of mortgage or otherwise.” Section 708 of the… read more

    Posted in EDPL Section 708, Personal Property, Right of First Refusal
  • CAREFUL JUDGE – THAT CONDEMNATION IS CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED

    We have written on this subject before, but somehow some judges do not get it.  A condemnation proceeding is not like private litigation.  A condemnation claim is the enforcement of a constitutional mandate that just compensation be paid. Even if the claimant fails in the burden of proof, it is not that he will be non-suited and receive no compensation.  Rather, in this worst-case scenario, the claimant will simply receive the amount proven by the condemnor.  In New York, the burden of proof is on the court to assure that… read more

    Posted in Burden of Proof, Offer & Compensation, Trial Preparation