Archive | Condemnation

Remember The Alamo – Maybe Not

The battle of the Alamo was a pivotal event and military engagement in the Texas Revolution.  Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops reclaimed the Alamo Mission killing most of the occupants.  The Texas legislature purchased that land and buildings designated the Alamo as an official Texas state shrine. Now, the City of San Antonio wants to acquire “Moses Rose’s Hideout,” a bar to be acquired for the new Alamo museum.  Interestingly, the name is that of the purported “coward of Alamo,” who fled the besieged fortress rather than fight, according… read more

Posted in Condemnation, The Alamo
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A Very Rare Win – Matter of Bowers Dev. LLC v Oneida County Indus. Dev. Agency. But, It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over.

The Fourth Department handed down a Christmas present on December 23, 2022 granting a petition filed pursuant to Section 207 of the Eminent Domain Procedure Law (EDPL) to annul the determination of the Oneida County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) to condemn certain real property. Before we dive into the case, let’s discuss EDPL Sec. 207, the exclusive procedure in New York to challenge a condemnation. Authorizing and Challenging the Condemnation Article 2 of New York’s Eminent Domain Procedure Law sets forth the prescribed way that property is to be acquired… read more

Posted in Blight, Condemnation, EDPL Sec. 207, Power of Condemnation, Public Purpose
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Blight, The Necessary Requirement for Condemnation

On December 29, 2022, the New York Times ran a story, “Why New York State insists that the Penn Station Area is ‘“Blighted.”’  The answer, silly, is that it had to. In New York, we just can’t condemn property unless there is a finding of blight.  I suggest that “blight” is in the eyes of the beholder.  I once attended a public hearing held pursuant to Article 2 of the Eminent Domain Procedure Law.  I believe it was for the taking for the expansion of Columbia University.  At the hearing,… read more

Posted in Blight, Condemnation, Penn Station
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When an Easement Is Really a Direct Taking

The right of an owner to just compensation for property taken by eminent domain is one guaranteed by the federal and state constitutions.  (Federal Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment; NY Constitution, Art. 1, Subd. 7).  The constitutional requirement of “just compensation” mandates that the property owner be indemnified so that he may be put in the same relative position, insofar as this is possible, as if the taking had not occurred.  City of Buffalo v J.W. Clement Co., Inc., 28 NY2d 241 258 (1971); Rose v State of New York, 24 NY2d… read more

Posted in Condemnation, Direct Taking, Easements, Eminent Domain
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The Expert Witness in a Condemnation Trial

The fundamental rule is that the qualifications of a witness as an expert is a determination within the sound discretion of the trial court.  Smith v City of New York, 238 AD2d 500 (2d Dept 1997). An expert, once qualified, is allowed to testify as to the expert’s opinion.  Sec. 7-301, Prince on Evidence (11th Ed. P. 456).  In a condemnation case, the evidence before the court will be expert testimony by appraisers, zoning experts and other valuation experts. As one court has stated, “impartiality should be the touchstone of… read more

Posted in Appraisers, Condemnation, Eminent Domain, Expert Witness, Independent Expert, Opinion Evidence, Qualifications
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