News & Resources
March 22nd, 2016 — In News & Events
OCA Condemnation Lawyer Michael Rikon Earns Prestigious CRE® Designation
The Owners’ Counsel of America is pleased to announce that Manhattan eminent domain lawyer Michael Rikon, the New York representative to OCA, recently received a CRE® designation from the Counselors of Real Estate®. Mr. Rikon, a partner at Manhattan-based Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C, has practiced law in New York since his admission to the Bar in 1969. Of the more than 1,100 CREs worldwide, Mike is one of the approximately 50 who are practicing attorneys. Mike Rikon entered private practice in 1980 and has since focused his practice on representing private property owners in eminent domain and real estate matters across New York state. Goldstein, Rikon, Rikon & Houghton, P.C limits its practice to eminent domain and condemnation law assisting landowners throughout the state of New York. Mike frequently lectures on topics related to eminent domain, just compensation and property rights. His articles on condemnation and real property law are published in the New York Law Journal, Practical Real Estate Lawyer and other legal and scholarly journals. He also regularly contributes to his firm’s blog “Bulldozers at Your Doorstep.” More about Mike’s professional experience is available on his OCA profile page and at www.grrhpc.com. Founded in 1953, the Counselors of Real Estate® is the membership organization established exclusively for real estate advisors who provide intelligent, unbiased, and trusted advice for a client or employer. Membership in The Counselors of Real Estate is on an invitation-only basis after a thorough review process. CREs come from a wide array of professional backgrounds-from valuation, consulting, law, brokerage and asset management to development, investment, lending […]
March 22nd, 2016 — In Articles
Eminent Domain vs. Inverse Condemnation: What’s the Difference?
Owners’ Counsel of America member-attorneys are dedicated to assisting private property owners defend their property rights when those rights are threatened by government intrusion or overreach. We realize that many of terms we discuss here and the concepts involved in eminent domain law are complex and can be confusing. To shed some light on this “dark corner of the law” we have answered some of the frequently asked questions landowners may have relating to eminent domain and the condemnation process here and here. In this article, we discuss the differences between eminent domain and inverse condemnation. Eminent Domain vs. Inverse Condemnation Eminent Domain There are two types of government acquisition or “taking” of private property. One form of property acquisition includes the government’s exercise of its eminent domain power to force the sale of private property for a public project or use. Eminent Domain – also referred to as “condemnation” – is the power of local, state or federal government agencies to take private property for public use provided the owner is paid just compensation. Sometimes, private corporations such as oil and gas companies, railroads or redevelopment authorities may be granted eminent domain power to construct projects providing a benefit to the public. The use of eminent domain power to take property is referred to by many terms and varies from state to state as well as internationally. The acquisition may be referred to as a “condemnation” or “direct condemnation,” “expropriation,” “appropriation” or simply a “direct taking.” In a direct condemnation or direct taking scenario, the government agency or other entity using the power […]
March 14th, 2016 — In News & Events
Alabama Attorney Casey Pipes Joins OCA’s Nationwide Network of Eminent Domain Attorneys
OCA is pleased to announce that Alabama real estate and condemnation lawyer, Casey Pipes, was recently selected for membership in the association. Mr. Pipes will succeed his partner, Warren C. Herlong, Jr., as the Alabama member of OCA. Warren, a charter member of OCA and former Director on OCA’s Board of Directors from 2013 to 2016, has been named as an Emeritus Member of the association.
March 8th, 2016 — In Articles
State and Federal Legislators Considering Changes to Eminent Domain Laws
Recently, state and federal lawmakers from across the country have introduced a number of legislative changes in the areas of private property rights and eminent domain. In this article, we highlight some of the latest (potential) legislative developments.
March 3rd, 2016 — In Articles
I Received a Condemnation Notice. What are My Rights?
If you received a condemnation notice or a notice that your property may be needed for a public project, it means that a federal, state or local government authority is seeking to acquire your property (or an interest in your property) using the power of eminent domain. Eminent domain is the power granted to the government and governmental agencies to seize private property for public use. This power is not absolute and as a property owner, you have a number of important legal rights. However, protecting these rights can be a challenge.
February 29th, 2016 — In News & Events
Virginia Property Rights Attorney Jeremy Hopkins Joins OCA
OCA is pleased to welcome eminent domain and property rights lawyer Jeremy P. Hopkins as the Virginia member of OCA’s nationwide network of eminent domain attorneys. Mr. Hopkins succeeds his partner, Joseph T. Waldo, who was a founding member of OCA and who has been named as an Emeritus Member of the association. OCA is grateful to Joe Waldo for his years of dedication and commitment to OCA and to defending property owners. We look forward to continuing to work together with Joe and Jeremy in Virginia and across the United States to protect and preserve private property rights.
February 22nd, 2016 — In Articles
Eminent Domain & Property Rights: Where Do the 2016 Presidential Candidates Stand on these Fundamental Issues?
Republican Presidential Candidates Discuss Their Opinions on Eminent Domain With the Presidential race heating up and the field of candidates narrowing down, more and more issues are revealing distinctions between the hopefuls for the Oval Office. Somewhat surprisingly, one issue that recently created a bit of controversy among Republican candidates was the issue of eminent domain. The current Republican front runners – Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio – have been attacking each others’ positions on this important issue and stating their own on the fundamental right to own property
February 11th, 2016 — In News & Events
Property Rights Lawyer Donald Joe Willis Honored With OCA’s 2016 Crystal Eagle Award
On January 30, 2016 Owners’ Counsel of America honored Oregon property rights, land use and condemnation attorney Donald Joe Willis with the Crystal Eagle Award for his advocacy over more than four decades on behalf of private property owners in land use, eminent domain and regulatory takings litigation throughout Oregon and nationally.
February 1st, 2016 — In Articles
Can Prohibiting Demolition Constitute a Taking?
While it is clearly a taking when the government institutes condemnation proceedings to acquire private property and demolish any improvements upon the land, it’s much less clear that the government has taken an owner’s property rights when it tries to prohibit demolition on the owner’s private property. This issue arose in a recent case decided by Ohio’s First District Court of Appeals on December 30, 2015. The short answer: In some cases, prohibiting demolition can constitute a taking of private property under the Fifth Amendment.
January 28th, 2016 — In Articles
Rails-to-Trails Takings: Property Owners’ Rights When Land Use Changes
In 1983, Congress enacted the federal National Trails System Act Amendment (known as the “Rails-to-Trails Act”) in order to preserve abandoned railroad rights of way by converting them into public recreational trails. Trails established under the Rails-to-Trails Act can range from walking and biking trails to green spaces for public use, such as the New York City High Line which was the subject of a recent takings case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and a blog post.