Archive | Eminent Domain

Is the acquisition of private property for affordable housing a public use?

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to acquire privately owned residential buildings and convert them into affordable housing in an effort to reduce the City’s homeless problem. The City is currently paying property owners to house homeless people in apartments in the buildings that the City wants to acquire. The City’s plan is to acquire the buildings and transfer them to nonprofit companies that will convert all of the apartments in the buildings into affordable units. The homeless people will stay in the affordable units. If the… read more

Posted in Condemnation, Eminent Domain, Public Purpose
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  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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“We’re Going to Build a Wall and Mexico is Going to Pay for It” – Not So, You are Going to Pay for It.

The immediate construction of a physical wall between Mexico and America was authorized by Presidential Executive Order on January 25, 2017, but there is no provision for funding from Mexico.  The President is asking congress for $4.1 billion through next year to begin construction of a wall, a project that may cost as much as $25 billion, plus annual repairs. A sea to sea barrier would require control of land along 2,000 miles.  This means that much land would have to be acquired by eminent domain.  As part of the… read more

Posted in Eminent Domain, Gateway Project, Uncategorized, Walls
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Generally, a property presently used for a public purpose may not be condemned.  See New York, L. & W.R. Co. v Union Steam-Boat Co., 99 NY 12 (1885).  Nor may property owned by a higher sovereign be acquired without consent.  This is known as the prior public use doctrine.  As the New York State Court of Appeals has noted, “[t]o defeat the attainment of an important public purpose to which lands have already been subjected, the legislative intent must unequivocally appear.”  In re City of Buffalo, 68 NY 167, 175… read more

Posted in Condemnation Procedures, Eminent Domain
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WHEN A JUDGE GETS IT ABSOLUTELY RIGHT: Matter of Village of Haverstraw (AAA Electricians, Inc.)

Like many condemnation proceedings by small towns and villages, the Village of Haverstraw taking of some 19 acres owned by our client AAA Electricians, Inc. represented a severe example of eminent domain abuse. The vacant land was taken for the construction of luxury condominiums on the Hudson River.  By Decision and Order dated August 5, 2016, the Honorable Bruce E. Tolbert awarded the claimant $1,190,582 as an additional allowance pursuant to Section 701 of New York’s Eminent Domain Procedure Law. The case was litigated over a thirteen year period of… read more

Posted in Additional Allowances, Eminent Domain
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