The purpose of the Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C. Eminent Domain Blog is to provide the public with information about the practice of eminent domain law. We also hope to share relevant updates and legal developments affecting this area of the law.

  • PROVING FAIR MARKET VALUE BY THE MARKET DATA APPROACH. ARE YOUR COMPARABLES REALLY COMPARABLE?

    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 Sec. 202.61.  See Miriam Osburn Memorial Home Assoc. v Assessor of Rye, 2004 N.Y. Slip. Op. 50793 (U) (West. Sup. Ct. 2004). The Appraisal Rule allows the parties to prepare for trial with knowledge of each other’s valuations and the foundations and justifications thereof.  Parisi v State, 62 Misc2d 378, 382… read more

    Posted in Appraisal Rule, Comparable Sales, Market Data Approach, Uncategorized
  • MY ADVICE TO APPRAISERS

              After fifty years of trying condemnation cases, I am consistently surprised at the occasional instance where an appraiser just does not know how to properly testify in court.           On paper, an appraiser may be incredibly impressive.  But is that enough for one to prevail in a case focused on valuation?           Providing expert testimony certainly requires expert knowledge of the subject, but it also requires knowledge of the fundamental rules that should be observed when on the witness stand.  The rules will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  An… read more

    Posted in Appraisers, Expert Testimony, Uncategorized
  • MEMO TO APPRAISERS: KEEP IT SIMPLE

              An interesting decision from the Fourth Department presents the issue of can an appraisal be limited to the study of specific economic measurements.  Most appraisals of property taken in condemnation consider the three basic methods of valuation, Viz.: comparable sales or market data approach; capitalization of income; or, the cost or specialty approach.           In Matter of Rochester Genesee Regional Trans. Auth. v Stensrud, ___ AD3d ____ (June 7, 2019), the condemnor’s motion to strike that part of claimant’s appraisal report with respect to “investment value” and to preclude… read more

    Posted in Appraisal, Methods of Valuation, Uncategorized
  • THERE CAN BE NO LIMIT ON JUST COMPENSATION

              We recently took over some files that pertained to takings by the County of Suffolk.  The prior attorney inserted a dollar amount in the filed claim.  Later, upon the preparation of the pre-trial order, the condemnor’s counsel objected to the insertion of a higher amount which matched appraised damages.  Former counsel stated that he inserted an amount into the claim merely as a placeholder until an appraisal was completed.           Eminent Domain Procedure Law (“EDPL”) § 504 specifies the information that should be included in a claim.  It does… read more

    Posted in Condemnation Claims, Just Compensation, There can be no limit to Just Compensation, Uncategorized
  • SHAME ON YOU SUFFOLK COUNTY: THE ATTEMPT TO STEAL JUST COMPENSATION

              I recently tried a claim which involved the taking of an easement on a beach front property.  The taking was to build a protective dune on Fire Island.           The dune was part of a federally funded program developed after Hurricane Sandy.  The County claimed that the dune was a special benefit to the property.  Let’s define the terms:           Nichols on Eminent Domain, Third Ed., Sec. 8A.04(2) provides, “General benefits are those benefits which result from the fulfilment of the public project which necessitated the taking and are… read more

    Posted in Easements, Partial Takings, Special Benefit, Uncategorized