Author Archive | Michael Rikon

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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WIND-POWER LINE BLOWN AWAY BY ILLINOIS SUPREME COURT

The Illinois Supreme Court rendered a decision on September 21, 2017 which upheld a lower court decision that an application filed by Clean Line Energy, a Houston Company, may not use eminent domain to acquire land to develop a 500 mile transmission line designed to carry wind generated power through the State of Illinois.  Illinois Landowners Alliance NRF v Illinois Commerce Commission, 2017 IL 121302. The basis for the decision was that Clean Line Energy does not qualify as a “public utility.”  The $1.8 billion high voltage line has been… read more

Posted in Pipeline Takings, Public Purpose, Public Utility
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THE MARKET DATA APPROACH, HOW COMPARABLE DO COMPARABLE SALES HAVE TO BE?

We recently filed a brief in an unusual case dealing with the valuation of a 10 acre parcel of land on the Long Island Sound in Eastern Long Island.  The valuation is premised on a filed subdivision map.  Certainly, this is a rare parcel of land to value.  Both appraisers used the market data approach to value the land.  Utilizing comparable sales is the most common approach to value vacant land.  If the property is income producing, the law in New York requires the income approach, or the capitalization of… read more

Posted in Comparable Sales, Market Data Approach, Valuation
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STORM WATER RELEASES DURING HARVEY WERE ALLEGEDLY UNLAWFUL TAKINGS

Reuters announced that owners of homes flooded during Hurricane Harvey are claiming billions in damages because of Federal and State water releases from storm-swollen reservoirs.  Several lawsuits have been filed in Federal and State Court in Texas and claim properties were taken for public use without compensation.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a Texas State agency have been named as the defendants responsible for the water releases.  Damages are estimated to be as high as $3 billion.  There may be more than 1,000 homes valued at between $750,000… read more

Posted in Harvey Storm Water Releases, Inverse Condemnation, Temporary Flooding
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