Archive | Eminent Domain

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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May a Religious Organization’s Land be Condemned?

Yes, if the procedural and due process requirements of the Eminent Domain Procedure Law are complied, a church or synagogue’s land may be taken by eminent domain. Religious organizations often alleged that they are protected by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (42 USC § 2000cc et seq.).  However, the Act only applies to a zoning and landmarking law.  Case law provides that a government’s exercise of eminent domain does not constitute an application of a zoning law.  See St. John’s United Church of Christ v City of… read more

Posted in Eminent Domain, Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act, Religious Organization
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Chaining Yourself to a Tree Just Won’t Work: Relocating Condemnees.

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority’s announcement to construct two new toll roads as part of a $5 billion expansion of the turnpike system brought pledges of refusing to cooperate if the Authority is awarded the land.  Residents are considering chaining themselves to tress, bulldozers or simply refusing to leave. According to an article published in “The Noman Transcript,” Oklahoma: Before an eviction order, if a landowner does not cooperate with the court’s ruling, the OTA could seek an injunction to order the person from “interfering with their (OTA’s) property rights,” Gray… read more

Posted in Eminent Domain, Eviction, Writ of Assistance
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The Infrastructure Package Means Business for Real Estate Investors

After much debate, President Joe Biden signed a $1.2 billion infrastructure bill (H.R. 3684) into law, finalizing a key part of his economic agenda.  The vote in the senate was uncommonly bipartisan; the yes votes included Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Republican Leader and 18 other Republicans. Funding for Roads and Bridges The legislation calls for investing $110 billion for roads, bridges and major infrastructure projects.  That’s significantly less than the $159 billion hat Biden initially requested in the American Jobs Plan. Included is $40 billion for bridge… read more

Posted in Construction, Eminent Domain, Infrastructure Package
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