Author Archive | Michael Rikon

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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Manalapan Farm Owner’s Condemnation Award of $4.5 Reversed as “Miscarriage of Justice”

The Asbury Park Press reported yesterday that the State Supreme Court reversed a jury award of $4.5 million to a farm owner.  According to his counsel, the Town took the property to prevent its development.  The farmer had been seeking to sell the property for housing development which the Township opposed.  The Town thought it would be a good property for the Township to own for recreational expansion.  This certainly is not a condemnation for a public purpose.  Taking property to stop its development is not a lawful taking.  A… read more

Posted in Appraisal, Evidence, Re-zonings
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Border Wall Land Grabs

The New York Times reported on May 30, 2020 that the Trump administration is accelerating efforts to seize private property for Trump’s border wall.  The government is taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to survey land while its owners are confined indoors.  This blog has written about the wall before.  How’s the Wall Going? February 10, 2020; How’s Your Wall Going? Part II, February 27, 2020.  These blogs discussed the destruction of protected saguaro cactuses which can live for 200 years.  It’s a crime to cut down a saguaro, punishable… read more

Posted in Border Wall, Native American Sites, Texas
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I KNOW THERE IS A PANDEMIC, BUT WHO COMPENSATES ME FOR MY LOSSES? PROPERTY RIGHTS v POLICY POWER

When government directly takes or inversely takes private property, our Federal and State Constitutions require the payment of just compensation.  But when property is taken for an emergency, the result may be different.  The federal government has an inherent “police power” to seize property without providing just compensation. The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is unprecedented.  In the United States, as of May 21, 2020, 93,439 people have died.  At least 1,551,853 cases of the disease have been recorded according to Johns Hopkins University.  The disease is extremely infectious and has spread… read more

Posted in Covid-19, Property Rights
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