News & Resources
August 1st, 2016 — In News & Events
Owners’ Counsel Attorneys Chair New National Eminent Domain Seminar
The practice of eminent domain is becoming more and more dependent upon occurrences on the national level. Now more than ever, eminent domain lawyers must be knowledgeable about activity outside their own jurisdictions. Join OCA attorneys from around the country in Las Vegas this September 29 and 30 for a two-day program presented by CLE International focused on helping attorneys to stay informed about the most important developments in eminent domain litigation all across the country.
July 18th, 2016 — In Articles
While One State Seeks to Limit Powers, Another Seeks to Reinvigorate Use of Eminent Domain
Since the infamous 2005 Supreme Court Kelo decision, many have watched as state and federal legislators across the country consider a variety of laws relating to eminent domain and property rights. Some of these laws have specific purposes – such as the APPROVAL Act that Arkansas’s congressional delegation proposed in 2015 – while others are intended to more broadly restrict or expand the government’s power to condemn private land. Two recently-proposed bills on opposite sides of the country fall into this latter category, albeit with diametrically opposite aims.
July 14th, 2016 — In Articles
North Carolina Supreme Court Holds Map Act Unconstitutional
In an important victory for property owners, the North Carolina Supreme Court recently held that key provisions of the state’s Map Act are unconstitutional. As a result of the Court’s ruling June 10, 2016, affected property owners will be entitled to just compensation for the state’s regulatory taking of their properties. Additionally, landowners throughout the state may seek just compensation in the event that the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) prevents them from improving their land in order to reserve property for future roadway development projects.
June 30th, 2016 — In Articles
Glossary: Eminent Domain Terminology
If a government agency (or a utility or other private company acting with the government’s authority to use the power of eminent domain) is attempting to take your property, it is critical to make sure that you understand your rights under the law of eminent domain. For most people, this starts with familiarizing yourself with the basic terminology involved. To help you get started, we have prepared a glossary of some of the key terms.
June 29th, 2016 — In Articles
OCA Files Amicus Brief In Support of Property Owners in NC “Public Trust Doctrine” Case
Along our country’s shores, a historical legal principle known as the “public trust doctrine” allows members of the public to access the beach beyond either the mean high or low water mark, even where this section of the beach (as well as the land above the water mark) is private property. This is the law in most states; and, until recently, it was clear that the public trust doctrine did not – and was not intended to –provide local governments the authority to interfere with landowners’ rights in the “dry sand” areas of their private property.
June 13th, 2016 — In News & Events
Eminent Domain Attorneys with Owners’ Counsel of America Earn CRE® Designation
The Owners’ Counsel of America wishes to congratulate eminent domain attorneys Joseph P. Suntum of Maryland and William G. Blake of Nebraska who were recently awarded the CRE® designation from the Counselors of Real Estate®. A Counselor of Real Estate (CRE) provides intelligent, unbiased real estate advice that achieves the best results for a client or employer. Joe and Bill join the more than 1,100 CREs worldwide, including 5 other OCA attorney-members (Casey Pipes – Alabama, Jack Sperber – Colorado, Dwight Merriam – Connecticut, Anthony DellaPelle – New Jersey, and Michael Rikon – New York).
June 7th, 2016 — In Articles
California Court Rules that Obstructing a Private View Does Not Amount to Inverse Condemnation
A recent case out of the California Court of Appeal illustrates two important aspects of the law of inverse condemnation in The Golden State. Inverse condemnation involves the government appropriating private property rights without adhering to the Constitutional and legal requirements for the exercise of eminent domain (including payment of just compensation). You can read more about the differences between eminent domain (also referred to as “condemnation”) and inverse condemnation here.
May 25th, 2016 — In Articles
Owners’ Counsel of America Files Amici Brief with The Cato Institute in SCOTUS Property Rights Case
On January 15, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it will hear the regulatory takings case of Murr v. Wisconsin, No. 15-214, an appeal out of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Wisconsin’s intermediate court ruled that a property owner’s separate but adjacent parcels should be considered as a single property for purposes of determining if an uncompensated taking has occurred, despite the fact that doing so substantially deprived the owner of the value of one of the independent parcels. Owners’ Counsel of America (OCA) and The Cato Institute (Cato) are asking the Supreme Court to reach a different conclusion.
May 10th, 2016 — In Articles
Department of Energy Moves Forward With First-Of-Its-Kind Exercise of Authority While Bill to Protect Property Owners Remains Pending
Last year, Representative Steve Womack (R-AR) and Senator John Boozman (R-AR) proposed matching versions of the Assuring Private Property Rights Over Vast Access to Land Act (the “APPROVAL Act”) in the House and Senate. The APPROVAL Act would limit the U.S. Department of Energy’s authority under Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 by requiring approval from a state’s governor and public service commission for any Section 1222 energy transmission project before the federal government may use the power of eminent domain to take private property.
May 3rd, 2016 — In News & Events
California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument Today in Important Eminent Domain Case
Beginning at 9:00 AM (Pacfic) today, the California Supreme Court will live-stream oral arguments in an important eminent domain and property rights case, Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court, case number S217738. This is the case in which the Third District Court of Appeal held that a request made by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to enter private property to undertake geological and environmental activities such as boring holes and installing permanent structures were not the “innocuous” or “superficial” activities permitted under California’s “entry statute.” (See our previous post here.) The Court of Appeal found that the level of intrusion on private property requested by DWR would be a taking, and that in order to undertake those activities, the DWR must follow eminent domain procedures. OCA together with the the National Federation of IndependentBusiness (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center filed an amici curiae brief in support of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta property and business owners who objected to the DWR’s proposed testing and pre-condemnation activities. (The OCA-NFIB brief is linked below.)