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.

Computer Virus Constitutes “Good Cause” to Amend Appraisal

It is generally difficult to amend an appraisal in an eminent domain or tax certiorari proceeding.  The party attempting to amend an appraisal must show good cause, which is determined by the court’s discretion. 22 NYCRR § 202.61 controls the exchange of appraisal reports in New York Supreme Court eminent domain proceedings and states that “the court may, upon good cause shown, … allow an amended or supplemental report to be filed upon such conditions as the court may direct.”  § 202.61(a)(3).  The same language is used for amended appraisal reports in tax certiorari proceedings.  22 NYCRR §§ 202.59(h), 202.60(h).  (The rule … Continue reading

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The Decreasing Number of Appraisers

According to an article published in MarketWatch written by Amy Hoak, the number of real estate appraisers is falling.  This is not good news for the real estate industry or anyone purchasing a home. As condemnation lawyers, we rely heavily on real estate appraisers to prove the appropriate amount of just compensation.  According to Ms. Hoak, the ranks of real estate appraisers stand to shrink substantially over the next five years, which will mean longer waits, higher fees and even lower-quality appraisals as more appraisers cross state lines to value properties. The statistics provided by the Appraisal Institute are not … Continue reading

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New York Law Journal Letters to the Editor: Correcting the Record on Eminent Domain Law in New York

Michael Rikon wrote a letter to the editor in the November 17, 2015, edition of the New York Law Journal titled, “Correcting the Record on Eminent Domain Law in New York.” In his letter, Mr. Rikon responded to Fred Kolikoff, a recently-retired New York City Law Department Assistant Corporation Counsel, who submitted erroneous letters to the editor in response to Mr. Rikon’s New York Law Journal eminent domain articles.  Mr. Rikon’s complete letter to the editor is reprinted here: This letter is written in response to the letter to the editor, “Burden of Proof In Condemnation Proceedings,” by Fred Kolikoff … Continue reading

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Supreme Court of Florida Provides Reminder that Condemnor Must Pay Attorneys’ Fees as Just Compensation for its Excessive Litigation

We often discuss that attorneys’ fees are a necessary component of constitutional just compensation, especially when the condemnor excessively litigates, delays, and attempts to prevent the property owner from obtaining just compensation.  See New York Eminent Domain Procedure Law (“EDPL”) § 701; see also General Crushed Stone Co. v. State of New York, 93 N.Y.2d 23 (1999); Hakes v. State of New York, 81 N.Y.2d 392 (1993). On November 5, 2015, Florida’s highest court reiterated this fundamental necessity and held that “when a condemning authority engages in tactics that cause excessive litigation, [the Florida state law concerning what the court … Continue reading

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New York Law Journal: New York’s Exclusive Procedure on “Taking” Needs Amendment

Michael Rikon authored a column in the October 30, 2015, edition of the New York Law Journal titled, “New York’s Exclusive Procedure on ‘Taking’ Needs Amendment.” In his article, Mr. Rikon discusses that, although New York’s Eminent Domain Procedure Law (“EDPL”), which was adopted in 1977, provides far superior protection in comparison to the procedures in other states, the EDPL is still overdue for study and amendment. Mr. Rikon notes that the EDPL is almost forty years old.  It is long in the tooth and in need of revision.  There are many substantive areas that require review and amendment. Some … Continue reading

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