News & Resources
December 14th, 2015 — In Articles
Florida Court Upholds Attorneys’ Fees Award for ‘Excessive Litigation’ in Condemnation Cases
When the government takes a private citizen’s land through the exercise of eminent domain, it is obligated to pay the landowner “just compensation” for the property taken. This requirement is established by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the constitutions in all 50 states, and it serves to protect the fundamental rights of landowners across America. But, this begs the question: What is just compensation? How is it calculated, and who gets to decide?
December 14th, 2015 — In News & Events
ALI-CLE Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation Course 2016
Eminent domain attorneys, appraisers, engineers and other professionals in the field of eminent domain, property rights and land valuation litigation will gather this January to discuss the hot topics, newest cases and emerging issues impacting eminent domain law and those who practice in this area. The 33rd Annual American Law Institute Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation course is scheduled to take place January 28-30 at the Hotel Van Zandt in Austin, Texas.
November 30th, 2015 — In Articles
How is Property Valued in a Condemnation Proceeding?
When a government agency, utility, energy company or other entity takes private property through eminent domain (known as “condemnation”), the landowner is entitled to the payment of just compensation. This right to just compensation is firmly established in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S Constitution, as well as state constitutions and laws across the country. But, what does it mean for compensation to be “just,” and who decides what is a just amount? Someone has to place a value on the land taken. And, when the “taking” involves an easement or regulation, the property owner’s losses may not be strictly tied to the value of the affected property.
November 9th, 2015 — In News & Events
New Jersey Beachfront Residents Represented by OCA Attorney Sue to Prevent Use of Eminent Domain
In October, a group of New Jersey beachfront homeowners brought suit against the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) seeking to prevent the agency’s use of eminent domain. Represented by eminent domain lawyer and OCA New Jersey representative Anthony DellaPelle, the property owners argue that the DEP’s plan to construct protective sand dunes on their properties would prevent them from taking their own precautions to avoid damage to their homes and land.
November 2nd, 2015 — In Articles
Easements and Restrictive Covenants: When the Government Takes Without Taking
When most people think about eminent domain and the condemnation of private property, they imagine the government acquiring a citizen’s private property and converting it to a public use. While this is often the case, it is not the only way that the government can acquire private property. Governments may claim “non-possessory” rights in private land. Such rights allow the government to either (i) use, or (ii) place restrictions on a landowner’s use of private property.
October 28th, 2015 — In Articles
The Keystone XL Pipeline Isn’t the Only Pipeline Concerning Property Owners
We have talked a lot recently about the ongoing debate and eminent domain issues involving TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL Pipeline across the western United States. But, this is by no means the only pipeline activity going on in the country. In fact, up and down the East Coast, property owners – many of whom are represented by our eminent domain lawyers – are battling to protect their land against a number of different pipeline projects.
October 22nd, 2015 — In Articles
Non-Possessory Takings: North Carolina Supreme Court to Consider Inverse Condemnation in Future Highway Development Case
In a case that has garnered national attention, the North Carolina Supreme Court has agreed to review a court of appeals decision holding that a state statute effected a taking – and thereby implicated the property owners’ Constitutional rights. It is an interesting case — one that could have significant implications for property owners across the country.
October 22nd, 2015 — In News & Events
OCA & NFIB Amici Brief: Cities Can’t Force Homebuilders To Provide More Than Fair Share Of Affordable Housing
Last week, OCA and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center filed an amici curiae brief with the United States Supreme Court urging the protection of private property rights from overreaching government regulation. The brief requests the Court agree to review the California Supreme Court’s decision in California Building Industry Association v. San Jose, No. 15-330 (September 16, 2015).
October 21st, 2015 — In News & Events
Harvard Law Prof. Joseph Singer Recently Honored with 2015 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize
On October 1, the William & Mary Law School Property Rights Project honored Professor Joseph Singer with the 2015 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize for his scholarship concerning property’s relationship to our political, economic, and social systems. Prof. Singer was honored during a candlelight dinner in the Great Hall of the historic Sir Christopher Wren Building, commencing the 12th annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference.
October 12th, 2015 — In Articles
Just Compensation, Relocation Expenses and Attorneys’ Fees: Financial Compensation in Eminent Domain
Property owners who have their land condemned by the government are entitled to just compensation. This is a fundamental right established by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and contained in state constitutions as well. While these constitutional protections are often the greatest source of compensation for property owners in eminent domain cases, they are not the only sources. Depending on the circumstances, various statutes may provide additional financial recourse for individuals and businesses that have their property taken using the power of eminent domain. These statutes often: Require payment of more than “just compensation” under certain circumstances Entitle property owners to recover their attorneys’ fees for defending their rights in a condemnation suit Provide property owners with compensation for their relocation costs.