A question that arises with some frequency in our practice is whether a public entity can adversely possess a property interest against another public entity. The general rule of thumb is that a private entity cannot obtain an interest in real property owned by a public entity through adverse possession. This rule is in part based off of the long-established principle nullum tempus occurrit regi, which means "time does not run against the king."
In California, this common law principle has been affirmed and reaffirmed for over a century in our courts and has been codified by the ...
Throughout all of the ups and downs in 2021, there have been multiple developments on the eminent domain front, including the special occasion where the U.S. Supreme Court heard a takings case. Outside of case law, 2021 saw the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed, which aims to provide federal funding for infrastructure projects for many years to come. All in all, 2021 was a fairly busy year for right-of-way and eminent domain practitioners.
Click here for summaries of the prominent cases and developments in eminent domain from 2021...
In the City of Fresno, the Tower Theatre is a bohemian landmark, opened in 1929 as a 20th Century Fox Movie House. This year, it became public that Adventure Church was buying the theatre, which has caused tensions to rise in the community, with thousands signing a petition to save the historic theatre, weeks of demonstrations trying to prevent its use as a church, and even a pending lawsuit. The City attempted to defuse the situation by offering Adventure Church an alternative location, which also backfired. So what’s next? The City may be considering using eminent domain to prevent ...
For those of you who missed our recent webinar, "Living on the Edge: Managing Sea Level Rise in California", you can find a recording of the event posted on our website. My colleagues Ben Rubin and John Erskine provided a great overview of ways to protect existing infrastructure and private property through coastal resiliency, what the models and data are suggesting on the future of sea level rise and the status of pending sea level rise legislation in California. I covered risks and possible solutions for public agencies and property owners, with a focus on how Coastal Commission and ...
After adopting a resolution of necessity and initiating eminent domain proceedings to acquire private property, public agencies are usually in a rush to move forward with the proposed public project. But every once in a while, those projects get delayed or postponed. A recent court of appeal decision, Rutgard v. City of Los Angeles (2020) Cal.App. LEXIS 709, serves as an important reminder for public agencies that they must put the property to public use within 10 years or otherwise timely adopt a new resolution of necessity. Absent doing so, the public agency has an obligation to offer ...
As originally reported by Robert Thomas at inversecondemnation.com, a petition for certiorari was filed asking the U.S. Supreme Court to address "[w]hat category of takings are subject to heightened judicial scrutiny, and when is the risk of undetected favoritism so acute that an exercise of eminent domain can be presumed invalid?" While Justice Kennedy brought this issue to the national stage when he raised the possibility of such conduct in a recent concurrence, as of today, and likely tomorrow, the question remains unanswered.
Albany Beach in Northern California is a popular waterfront hot-spot. However, the East Bay Regional Park District feels it's far from reaching its potential. A long-planned restoration project is intended to improve the area's public access and the ecological environment. However, the project hinges on one missing piece of the puzzle: acquisition of a 2.8-acre parcel owned by Golden Gate Fields.
Ever since the Supreme Court issued its infamous 2005 Kelo decision, people have been anxiously awaiting the Court's next opportunity to weigh in on the extent of the government's eminent domain authority and, in particular, the limits (if any) created by the "public use" requirement.
One of the cases that has been watched closely involves efforts to expand Columbia University in New York. In Tuck-It-Away, Inc. v. New York State Urban Development Corporation, dba Empire State Development Corporation, the New York State Urban Development Corporation sought to condemn ...
One of the most vexing aspects of eminent domain for many property and business owners is the fundamental fact that the owner does not get to decide whether to sell the property. I cannot recall the number of initial client meetings I've had over the years that began with the client asking "How do I stop this from happening?"
In most cases, my clients are disappointed to hear my answer: "You can't." But this answer is overly simplified, because there are actually several grounds for preventing the government from condemning property.
A recent post on the Biersdorf & Associates eminent ...
Yesterday, Professor Gideon Kanner, a well-known eminent domain scholar, wrote a critique of my post about Avatar on his "Gideon's Trumpet" blog. It is an interesting response, in that it spans two full pages of printed text, and his fundamental point seems to be that he agrees with my premise that Avatar is not a film about eminent domain.
How, then, does he spend two pages responding to my January 26 post, "Is Avatar Really a Political Commentary on Eminent Domain Abuse?" Well, he begins by "trumpeting" the fact that he writes from an "unabashedly property-owner oriented" ...
A few weeks ago, my wife and I went to see Avatar. With two young kids, we rarely see movies in the theaters, and we picked this one based on its advertised special effects, not any belief that it was the "best" movie among our choices.
As I watched, I never really thought of it as an expression of outrage over eminent domain abuse. Looking around the Internet, however, the movie seems to have been picked up by eminent domain reformists as a big budget example of eminent domain gone bad. But is it, really? Let's look at some facts ...
California Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain. We cover all aspects of eminent domain, including condemnation, inverse condemnation and regulatory takings. We also keep track of current cases, project announcements, budget issues, legislative reform efforts and report on all major eminent domain conferences and seminars in the Western United States.
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