Author Archive | Michael Rikon

Basics of Property Valuation in Condemnation Proceedings

The rule that real property is valued at its highest and best use free and clear of leases, mortgages or other encumbrances regardless of actual use is so fundamental that almost every eminent domain decision begins with a recitation of it. Firstly, the act of condemnation extinguishes any interest on the property. In 1931, the Court of Appeals wrote,  In Matter of City of New York (Allen Street), “the City pays for what it takes and nothing else.  By such taking it extinguishes all existing rights and interests in the property taken.” … read more

Posted in Condemnation Procedures, Eminent Domain, Highest and Best Use, Leases, New York, Offer & Compensation, Recent cases, Zoning
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NYLJ Article: Condemnors Behaving Badly

Two GRRH partners, Michael Rikon and M. Robert Goldstein, recently published an article in the New York Law Journal titled “Condemnors Behaving Badly.” The focus of the article is on one bad-faith practice often utilized by condemnors in New York: making a pre-vesting offer (as required by law), and then when this offer is rejected as full compensation, filing another appraisal for a lower amount. This is a problem for the claimant because the claimant is being punished for asserting its constitutional right to just compensation. This coercive practice is… read more

Posted in Condemnation Procedures, Legislation, New York, Offer & Compensation, Published Articles
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A Condemnor Cannot Limit Just Compensation Because of a Planned Condemnation

The concept of limitation to one group of owners compared to others because of a proposed condemnation constitutes an unconstitutional denial of equal rights. We see this in cases where there has been a rezoning, but because parcels were to be taken in the exercise of eminent domain, the benefit of the up-zoning is denied. In Matter of City of New York (Inwood Hill Park Addition), 230 AD 31 (1st Dept 1930), afd. 256 NY 556 (1931), the Court held that there may be no deprivation of the right to submit any element of value which a… read more

Posted in Eminent Domain, Highest and Best Use, New York, Uncategorized, Zoning
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Jersey Waterfront Owners to be Publicly Shamed if They Refuse to Voluntarily Allow Easements

Governor Chris Christie made news on Tuesday when he announced publicly at a town hall-style event in Middlesex Borough that if property owners along the Jersey Shore do not sign the voluntary easement agreements to allow the construction of sand dunes on their property, he was going to start naming them publicly. Specifically, Governor Christie said he would start “calling these folks out in the new few weeks if they haven’t signed the easements to let us build the dunes because they need to be called out and they need to be told that there is something more… read more

Posted in Eminent Domain Abuse, Uncategorized
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