Archive | 2020

Pipelines Here, There and Everywhere

Sooner or later a pipeline case had to arrive at the Supreme Court.  Last week the Court rules on the first high profile case.  The court ruled in favor of a 600-mile natural gas pipeline proposed to go under the Appalachian Trail in rural Virginia.  We wrote on the case in our blog on June 16, 2020.  The decision also removed a hurdle for another 300-mile pipeline and could prompt development on other ecologically important lands. The Supreme Court will now consider whether it will grant or deny review, or… read more

Posted in Eleventh Amendment, Pipelines
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Border Wars Trump Style

The U.S. has actively been pursuing the wall between the United States and Mexico.  And, no, Mexico is not paying for it.  Since the month of March, the government has filed 24 new condemnation cases to acquire private property from South Texas landowners which is more than were filed in the preceding eight months.  All this despite the pandemic. There are currently 657 miles of primary barriers and 50 miles of secondary barriers along the 2000-mile border. Remember that the vast majority of the barriers were constructed prior to the… read more

Posted in Border Wall, Condemnation
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Notice of “Rails to Trails” Constitutes a Taking

On May 29, 2020, the Federal Circuit Court o Appeals issued a decision in Caquelin v U.S., No. 19-1385 (Fed. Cir. 2020), which held that a categorical taking analysis applies to the evaluation of whether a Notice of Intended Trail use constitutes a taking. In the early development of our County, railroads were critical to development.  Development of railroad networks was very important.  So important, that railroads were given the power of eminent domain.  The railroads used the power to negotiate or take easements over private property for the use… read more

Posted in Categorical Taking, Rails-to-Trails
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The Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The United States Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline can traverse sixteen (16) miles of land within the George Washington National Forest.  The case, United States Forest Service v Cowpasture River Prevention Assoc., 590 U.S. ___ (2020), considered the grant of a special permit from the Forest Service for a right of way some 600 feet below a portion of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.  The Respondents filed a petition for review alleging that the special permit for the right of way violated the Mineral… read more

Posted in Appalachian Trial, Easements, Right-of-Way
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No Soup for You – Colorado Supreme Court Refuses Compensation for Taking of Restrictive Covenant

The Town of Monument condemned a privately owned lot in a residential subdivision for the purpose of locating a water storage tank.  The lot was subject to a restrictive covenant requiring that it remain residential in use and that only a single-family home could be built on it.  Restrictive covenants are not unusual and are common in the development of planned unit communities.  Restrictive covenants have significant and substantial impact on the use and value of property. In response to the Town’s condemnation proceeding, dozens of property owners in the… read more

Posted in Compensation, Easements, Just Compensation, Restrictive Covenants
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