This morning the Supreme Court issued its order listing, among other things, the cases which the court has decided it will or will not grant certiorari. Of those to be denied review is the eminent domain case of River Center LLC v. Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, No. 11-922 (cert. petition filed Jan. 23, 2012) in which the constitutional guarantee of "just compensation" is at issue.
This is the case that involves one of the largest condemnations of private property in NYC history - the taking of the unused development rights of an entire city block in Manhattan
near Lincoln Center for the performing Arts. Here, the property owner and developer challenged the compensation awarded by the New York State courts for the taking of private property because the NY appellate courts refused the owner the right to put forth evidence pertaining to the property's value. The NY courts opined that the owner whose property is taken by eminent domain must be able to show its claimed highest and best use is "established as reasonably probable and not a
'speculative or hypothetical arrangement in the mind of the claimant,'" and that the owner must have specific plans that will "come to fruition" in the immediate future.
The property owner argued in the cert petition
that the Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth Amendment does not require a property owner to show
that the development plans will come to fruition soon.We filed a brief in support of the property owner which argued that all evidence of value must be considered by a reviewing court and that the court(s) cannot disregard evidence that a potential buyer of the property would consider important in assessing value.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Willets Point United Supporters Rally in Support of the Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2012
Last week Willets Point United, a group of business and land owners dedicated to fighting eminent domain abuse in Willets Point, Queens, NY, and supporters of private property owners rallied in support of H.R. 1433, The Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2012. H.R. 1433 prohibits the use of federal funds for economic development projects that use the power of eminent domain to take private property for anything other than public use. This bi-partisan bill was co-sponsored by Republican James Sensenbrenner and Democrat Maxine Waters and passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a voice vote on February 28, 2012. (See our previous post here.)
|Photo credit: Jeanne Noonan for New York Daily News|
Willets Point United has opposed New York City’s use of eminent domain to acquire private property for the mixed-use development planned for this Queens neighborhood. While NYC has indicated that it is not seeking federal funds for the proposed Willets Point Urban Renewal Plan, should H.R.1433 become law it could discourage NYC and other municipalities, local and state governments from pursuing such projects due to the potential loss of federal funding in the future.