North Carolina Supreme Court Holds Map Act Unconstitutional
Posted on Jul 14, 2016 in Articles
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.
Dictionary of Key Terms
Posted on Jun 30, 2016 in FAQ
Below are general definitions of key terms that are often used in eminent domain and other taking cases. Please note that the precise definition of any of the following terms may differ depending upon the state or jurisdiction applicable to the relevant matter. Additional Information on Eminent domain Our website is full of resources for individuals and businesses threatened with the loss of their private property rights. For more information on the law of eminent domain and inverse condemnation, you can read: Calculating Just Compensation Eminent Domain vs. Inverse Condemnation: What’s the Difference? Property Owners’ Frequently Asked Questions about Eminent Domain Understanding Your Rights in Inverse Condemnation and Regulatory Takings Cases When Can Property Owners Challenge Eminent Domain? Can I Afford to Hire an Eminent Domain Attorney? Speak With an Eminent Domain Lawyer at Owners’ Counsel of America Owners’ Counsel of America (OCA) is a network of leading eminent domain lawyers throughout the United States. If the government is attempting to take your property, we encourage you to contact an OCA lawyer in your state for a free consultation. Locate your OCA lawyer online or call us at (877) 367-6963 to connect with an eminent domain lawyer today.
OCA Files Amicus Brief In Support of Property Owners in NC “Public Trust Doctrine” Case
Posted on Jun 29, 2016 in News & Events
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.
California Court Rules that Obstructing a Private View Does Not Amount to Inverse Condemnation
Posted on Jun 7, 2016 in Articles
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.
Owners’ Counsel of America Files Amici Brief with The Cato Institute in SCOTUS Property Rights Case
Posted on May 25, 2016 in Articles
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.
California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument Today in Important Eminent Domain Case
Posted on May 3, 2016 in News & Events
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.)
Two Judges Approve Use of Eminent Domain for New Jersey Dunes
Posted on Apr 25, 2016 in Articles
As we have previously discussed, beachfront property owners in New Jersey are currently in a battle with the state’s Department of Environmental Protection over the department’s efforts to condemn portions of their property for a beach-widening and dune-building project along the New Jersey shore. While the Department of Environmental Protection asserts that the project is necessary to protect the shore from future storms similar to 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, the property owners counter that there are better alternatives available. They also assert – among other arguments – that the Department of Environmental Protection has refused to offer just compensation for its exercise of eminent domain.
Understanding the Tax Consequences of Condemnation
Posted on Mar 28, 2016 in Articles
When a government agency or other entity with the power of eminent domain acquires or condemns private property, the private owner is entitled to “just compensation” for the value of the property taken. This compensation – or at least the majority of it – is essentially paid as the purchase price for the condemned property. Eminent domain involves the transfer of real estate title in exchange for the payment of compensation which the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) generally treats as an ordinary taxable sale of property.
Rails-to-Trails Takings: Property Owners’ Rights When Land Use Changes
Posted on Jan 28, 2016 in Articles
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.
When Can Property Owners Challenge Eminent Domain?
Posted on Dec 28, 2015 in Articles
While state and federal government agencies have the power of eminent domain – to take private property for public use – that power is not unlimited. Eminent domain power is limited by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by individual state constitutions and laws. If the government seeks to take your property, there are potential defenses an eminent domain attorney may employ to challenge the taking. While certain defenses challenge the condemnation outright, others focus on ensuring that you receive just compensation for the taking of your property. In this article, we provide a brief overview of four of the most common defenses to condemnation: