Author Archive | Michael Rikon

WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING HUMAN APPRAISER – WE WILL USE A BOT

The November 30, 2018 Wall Street Journal has an article, “Home Appraisals Go High-Tech.”  It seems that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and The Federal Reserve have proposed loosening real estate appraisal rules so that a majority of homes can be bought and sold without being valued by a licensed appraiser.  According to the article, the plan would increase the value of homes that can be sold without an appraiser visiting the property from $250,000 to $400,000.  This does not sound like… read more

Posted in Appraisal, Appraisers, FDIC
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PARDON ME, IS THAT YOUR DINOSAUR?

Our friend Robert H. Thomas brought our attention into an interesting case in his excellent blog, inversecondemnation.com.  The case, Murray v BEJ Minerals, LLC, was handed down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on November 6, 2018. The case was brought by plaintiffs who were owners of a Montana ranch.  They sought a declaratory judgment that dinosaur fossils found on the ranch belong to them as owners of the surface estate. Plaintiffs took title to the ranch from the Seversons prior to the discovery of the fossils.  The previous… read more

Posted in De Facto Appropriation, Fossils, Mineral Rights
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PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT! MATTER OF NATIONAL FUEL GAS SUPPLY v SCHUECKLER

The Fourth Department of New York’s Appellate Division handed down the decision in Matter of National Fuel Gas Supply Corp. v Schueckler, ___ AD3d ____, 2018 NY SLIP OP 07550 (Nov. 9, 2018).  The appeal involved the granting of a petition for the acquisition of easements for an interstate gas pipeline. Now gas pipelines have gotten pretty used to obtaining what they need.  But not in New York.  The State of New York has blocked the entire pipeline project by denying the necessary environmental permits.  Notwithstanding the barrier posed by… read more

Posted in EDPL Article 2, FERC Certificate, Natural Gas Act, Pipeline Easements
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CAN ONE GOVERNMENT CONDEMN ANOTHER GOVERNMENT’S PROPERTY?

Generally, a body with the power of eminent domain cannot condemn the property of a higher sovereign.  But the key inquiry seems to be, is the current use a public use, since there is a doctrine of prior public use which holds that a condemnor may not condemn property already being used for a public purpose if the proposed use “will either destroy the existing (public) use or interfere with it to such an extent as is tantamount to destruction.”  Okanogan County PUD v State, 182 Wn2d 519, 538-539 (2015). … read more

Posted in Condemnation of Government Property, Prior Public Use
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CAN A CLAIMANT TESTIFY AS TO THE VALUE OF PROPERTY IN NEW YORK? WHY NOT?

We became intrigued with this question after reading the Amici Curiae brief of Owner’s Counsel of America written by renowned legal scholar Robert H. Thomas in an appeal pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, Sabal Trial Transmission, LLC v 3.921 Acres of Land in Lake County, Florida.  I am the New York State representative of Owner’s Counsel of America. The brief makes two main points.  First, the Fifth Amendment requires that an owner recover the “full and perfect equivalent for the property taken.”  And… read more

Posted in Competency of Witness, Owner's Testimony, Valuation
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