Author Archive | Michael Rikon

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
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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
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THINK TWICE BEFORE AGREEING TO ALLOW STREET ARTISTS TO PAINT ON YOUR BUILDING

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York refused to set aside the Court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law and grant a new trial to Cohen et al. v G & M Realty L.P. et anos, Case No. 13-CV-05612 (FB) (RLM).  In an unusual decision, Senior District Judge Frederic Block awarded $6,750,000 as statutory damages for the willful destruction of Plaintiffs’ works of visual art by Defendant Gerald Wolkoff.  The art was graffiti on a group of dilapidated buildings in Long Island City, Queens. … read more

Posted in Graffiti, Protected Art, Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990
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TAXES ON PARKLAND – NEVER

The Second Department handed down an interesting case today, Town of North Hempstead v County of Nassau, ___ AD3d ___, June 6, 2018.  The facts are somewhat difficult, but I shall try to simplify.  In 2005, land was conveyed to the Town of North Hempstead for use as a public park.  The real property was used as a park since that date. The Town failed to record the 2005 deed until December 2008.  Meanwhile the County was assessing taxes on the land and sold the tax liens to an individual. … read more

Posted in parklands, RPTL 406, Tax Assessment
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ANOTHER UNCONSTITUTIONAL TAKING CLAIM DISMISSED

In our May 11, 2018 blog, we wrote about the Second Department’s affirmance of the dismissal of a claim by Yellow Cab Medallion owners that their property was taken when the City of New York permitted Uber and other for hire vehicles to provide on demand ground transportation. The Court held, inter alia: Moreover, we agree with the Supreme Court’s determination that the TLC’s alleged decision to “allow black cars to pick up e-hails” did not, as a matter of law, constitute an unconstitutional taking of the petitioners’ property (see… read more

Posted in Inverse Condemnation
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