Author Archive | Michael Rikon

Pre-vesting Offers and the Duty to Negotiate

A recent case decided by the New Jersey Appellate Division has highlighted the rule that condemning municipalities do not have a duty to negotiate with mortgagees when condemning a property on which they hold an interest. Borough of Merchantville v. Malik & Son, LLC, handed down on February 5th, specifically held that the condemning municipality was only required to conduct pre-complaint bona fide negotiations with the record owner of the property.* Thus, the municipality did not have to conduct negotiations with the assignee of a mortgagee which had obtained a final judgment of foreclosure. A little bit of… read more

Posted in Condemnation Procedures, New York, Offer & Compensation, Recent cases, Uncategorized
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An Irrational Public Purpose Taking is Not a Violation of Due Process

By: Michael Rikon Sometimes when you read a case you just want to run head first into a brick wall. That’s the feeling we had when we read the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Matter of 49 WB v Village of Haverstraw in an unpublished summary order. The Second Circuit was reviewing de novo the district court’s granting of summary judgment for defendant-appellees (Village of Haverstraw) and denying 49 WB’s cross-motion for partial summary judgment as to liability. 49 WB argued, based on the Appellate Division’s determination regarding the attempted condemnation of… read more

Posted in Challenging condemnation, Eminent Domain, New York, Recent cases
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Corridor Valuation

Written by M. Robert Goldstein and Michael Rikon. Recently, Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C. partner Jonathan Houghton won an extraordinary case of first impression on a cross-appeal dealing with the issue of corridor valuation. Corridor valuation, discussed at length below, deals with the proper valuation methodology used by a court when the land which is condemned is part of a railroad corridor. Many early cases involving eminent domain involved railroads exercising their right of condemnation, such as South Buffalo Ry. v Kirkover, 176 N.Y. 301 (1903), which established the… read more

Posted in Cases of First Impression, Eminent Domain, Future of the law, New York
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N.C. Bill Seeks to Limit Impact of Kelo Decision

N.C. Rep. Chuck McGrrady introduced legislation this week to amend the North Carolina State Constitution to limit the government’s condemnation powers, specifically prohibiting condemnation of private property except for public use, and providing for the right to just compensation and a trial by jury in all condemnation cases. The bill is a direct response to the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Kelo v. New London, Conn. (2005) which liberalized the  test for eminent domain, providing that the government may force the sale of property if it was for a”public purpose” or “public benefit.” According to… read more

Posted in Eminent Domain, Eminent Domain Abuse, Legislation
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Use of Eminent Domain Expected to Spike as America Becomes More Energy Independent

When you voted “yes” or “no” in this past year’s election you probably weren’t thinking too heavily about eminent domain (unless you were in Virginia!). But it turns out that America’s push towards energy independence will come at the expense of property owners nationwide. According to blumberg.com, the natural gas industry estimates that 450,000 miles of pipelines will need to be built in the next 25 years in order to accommodate America’s energy needs. As an example, in order to provide the eastern half of the United States alone with 20% of… read more

Posted in Eminent Domain, Eminent Domain Abuse, Energy Companies
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