Archive | 2016


Generally, a property presently used for a public purpose may not be condemned.  See New York, L. & W.R. Co. v Union Steam-Boat Co., 99 NY 12 (1885).  Nor may property owned by a higher sovereign be acquired without consent.  This is known as the prior public use doctrine.  As the New York State Court of Appeals has noted, “[t]o defeat the attainment of an important public purpose to which lands have already been subjected, the legislative intent must unequivocally appear.”  In re City of Buffalo, 68 NY 167, 175… read more

Posted in Condemnation Procedures, Eminent Domain
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On December 7, 2016, the Appellate Division, Second Department handed down Monroe Equities, LLC v State of New York, 2016 NY Slip Op 08206.  The decision affirmed the dismissal of a claim for damages based on the contention that the application of watershed regulations precluding the right to install a septic system constituted a per se taking under Lucas v South Carolina Coastal Council, 505 US 1003, requiring compensation under the Takings Clause of the United States Constitution because claimant was deprived of all economically beneficial use of its property…. read more

Posted in Recent cases, Regulatory Taking
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WHEN A JUDGE GETS IT ABSOLUTELY RIGHT: Matter of Village of Haverstraw (AAA Electricians, Inc.)

Like many condemnation proceedings by small towns and villages, the Village of Haverstraw taking of some 19 acres owned by our client AAA Electricians, Inc. represented a severe example of eminent domain abuse. The vacant land was taken for the construction of luxury condominiums on the Hudson River.  By Decision and Order dated August 5, 2016, the Honorable Bruce E. Tolbert awarded the claimant $1,190,582 as an additional allowance pursuant to Section 701 of New York’s Eminent Domain Procedure Law. The case was litigated over a thirteen year period of… read more

Posted in Additional Allowances, Eminent Domain
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“Property Rights as Defined and Protected by International Courts”

The following is an excerpt of a paper presented by Michael Rikon, “Property Rights as Defined and Protected by International Courts,” which was presented at 2015 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference, The Hague, Netherlands, on October 21, 2015. The right of an individual to own property may be traced to the French Revolution and the United States Bill of Rights.  As American Lawyers, we assume, not only the right to own property, but the right to compensation if that property is taken by the government.  That process is known as eminent… read more

Posted in International Courts, Judicial view, Lawyers
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A Perfect Example of The Highest And Best Use Concept

On September 21, 2016, New York’s Appellate Division, Second Department, handed down Matter of 730 Equity Corp. v New York State Urban Development Corp., __ AD3d ___, 2016 NY Slip Op 06086 (2d Dep’t 2016). If there was an eminent domain case book, this decision would be included as an example of establishing a highest and best use in a condemnation. The claim involved a one-half acre parcel of vacant land on Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.  The land was under a long term triple net lease to a major… read more

Posted in Highest and Best Use, Recent cases, Zoning
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