Author Archive | Michael Rikon

ANOTHER THING ABOUT MATTER OF TOWN OF OYSTER BAY v 55 MOTOR AVENUE COMPANY, LLC

In our last posted blog, we criticized the Second Department’s decision in the above case for confusing what is necessary to prove a reasonable probability of rezoning and the ability to develop land pursuant to a special permit. But there is another problem with the Appellate Division’s decision.  It held that although three parcels were physically contiguous and had unity of ownership, parcel 3 could not be considered as having unity of use because the claimant had entered into a ground lease for parcel 3 seventeen months before the vesting… read more

Posted in Highest and Best Use, Unity of Ownership, Valuation Free and Clear
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THE APPELLATE DIVISION SHOULD GIVE DEFERENCE TO A CONDEMNATION COURT AND BE CORRECT ON THE LAW BEFORE MODIFYING AN AWARD

It is well established that where the trial court’s findings of fact rest in large measure on considerations relating to the credibility of witnesses, deference is owed to the trial court’s credibility determinations.  Gerard v Cahill, 194 AD3d 813, 815 (2d Dept. 2017). In one condemnation case which arose as a result of a taking for the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, the trial court, Justice Wayne Saitta, heard the testimony of many expert witnesses including appraisers, zoning experts, cost estimators, hotel experts, and professional engineers, and determined that a… read more

Posted in Deference to Trial Court, Special Permit, Zoning Change
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THE ENTIRE FIRM IS ATTENDING THE EMINENT DOMAIN ALI-CLE CONFERENCE

  Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C. is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Conference to be held on January 25-27, 2018 in Charleston, South Carolina.  Every lawyer in the firm will be in attendance. Jonathan Houghton will be speaking on the Second Avenue Subway valuation issues in transportation corridor construction.  Michael Rikon will speak on cross-examination of experts: Preparation, Mistakes and Getting It Right. The faculty consists of over 50 speakers who are experts in the law of eminent domain from across… read more

Posted in ALI-CLE Conference, Eminent Domain
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ANOTHER POORLY CONSIDERED CONDEMNATION

On October 2, 2017, the Honorable Bruce E. Tolbert, sitting as a Rockland County Supreme Court Justice, entered a decision and order awarding our clients, The Ray River Co., Inc. and Haverstraw Riverfront, Inc., $8,950,000 plus interest from March 27, 2008.  That is a 56% increment.  Jonathan M. Houghton tried the claim, assisted by Ashley Levi. The Condemnor, Village of Haverstraw, made an advance payment of $1,190,000.  At trial, it introduced an appraisal valuing the 9.7 acres of vacant land on the Hudson River at $2.1 million. The property never… read more

Posted in Condemnation, Wrongful Condemnation
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SHOULD YOU MOVE FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR IN LIMINE?

Many lawyers believe that their opponents’ appraisal is so weak that a motion for summary judgment will bring them instant victory.  The idea is usually not worth the effort for it is rare that summary judgment is appropriate in an eminent domain case. An appraisal presents a pure factual presentation of data and information utilized by an expert to conclude to an opinion of value.  In New York State, an appraisal is required to be exchanged and filed pursuant to Court Rule.  22 NYCRR § 202.61.  See Miriam Osborn Memorial… read more

Posted in Appraisal, Due Process, In Limine, Just Compensation, Summary Judgment
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