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.

Appellate Division Affirms 75% Increment Applicable to Wetlands Taking

Yesterday the Appellate Division, Second Department decided In re Matter of New Creek Bluebelt, Phase 4. Lawrence N. Paolella, et al., v. City of New York, in which it affirmed the findings of Supreme Court, Richmond County (Saitta, J.). The lower ruled that there was a reasonable probability that the imposition of wetlands regulations on the subject property constituted a regulatory taking and applied a 75% increment in calculating the final condemnation award of $810,000. For the Claimants, the award represents a 338% increase over the City’s valuation of $185,000. The case involved the application of wetlands regulations to a 19,500 … Continue reading

Posted in Eminent Domain, New York, Recent cases, Wetlands | Leave a comment

Michael Rikon Publishes NYLJ Article on Public Trust Doctrine and NYC Parklands

Mr. Rikon’s most recent NYLJ, available by clicking here, discusses the public trust doctrine and recent New York cases involving challenges to public parklands. As Mr. Rikon writes, the parks are protected by the public trust doctrine, which was adopted by the States from well-established English Law. The landmark case was Illinois Central Railroad v. Illinois, 146 US 387 (1892). In that case, the Illinois legislature had granted most of the Chicago harbor to the railroad. The Supreme Court held that the State held title to the land underneath the navigable waters of Lake Michigan in trust for the public … Continue reading

Posted in New York, parklands, Published Articles, Recent cases | Leave a comment

Appellate Division Refuses to Pierce Corporate Veil in Long Island City Taking

The Appellate Division, Second Department recently reversed an order of the Supreme Court, Queens County (Rios, J.) entered October 16, 2012 which granted the Condemnor’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the claim of Tennisport, Inc. for the taking of its trade fixtures, and additionally directed that an advance payment made to Tennisport be set off against the award for the compensation for the taking of the fee. In reversing, the Appellate Division held that the fee and fixture claims were made by separate and distinct legitimate corporations, and refused to pierce the corporate veil. The property at issue was located … Continue reading

Posted in Eminent Domain, Highest and Best Use, New York, Offer & Compensation, Trade fixtures | Leave a comment

Games Condemnors Play: When Appraisers Lose Credibility

  In his book, “Expert Witness in the Legal System: A Scientist’s Search for Justice,” Morris S. Zedek wrote that in 2001, the Committee on Criminal Advocacy of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York surveyed judges about the prevalence of perjury in the New York metropolitan area. In regard to expert witnesses, of the thirty judges who responded, 50 percent said they encountered occasional perjury. This is not surprising to a trial lawyer. In condemnation cases, most reputable appraisers do not commit perjury. They may tend to direct the valuation by more subtle ways. Key … Continue reading

Posted in Appraisers, Eminent Domain, Highest and Best Use, New York, Recent cases, Trial Preparation | Tagged | Leave a comment

Eminent Domain to Lower Mortgages: A Silly Idea That Won’t Go Away

Last year we read about the plan of the City of Richmond California to condemn underwater mortgages to squeeze them from financial institutions and refinance them for the homeowner. Financial institutions sued and the plan was aborted. But now we read that the City of San Francisco has an idea to partner with nearby Richmond on the same program. Supervisor John Alvos was quoted in the San Francisco Examiner as saying, “The issue of distressed mortgages is real in San Francisco, data showed that there are hundreds of homes at risk right now and there are thousands more potentially at … Continue reading

Posted in Challenging condemnation, Condemnation Procedures, Eminent Domain Abuse, Mortgage seizures | Leave a comment