Eminent domain from Start to Finish


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Materials from National Business Institute seminar in 2013 regarding New Jersey eminent domain law

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  • Redevelopment Law issues Atlantic City - casino issues Wide discretion
  • test
  • N.J.S.A. 20:3-11 State v. Orenstein, 124 N.J. Super. 295 (App. Div.), certif.. denied 63 N.J. 588 (1973)
  • Trenton v. Lenzner, 16 N.J. 465 (1954)(parking facility for proprietary use) West Orange v. 769 Associates, 172 N.J. 564 (2002)(roadway primarily serving residential development) Texas Eastern v. Wildlife Preserves, 48 N.J. 261 (1967)(necessity) Hillsborough v. Robertson, 260 N.J.Super. 37 (Law Div. 1992) Essex Fells v. Kessler, 289 N.J. Super 329 (Law Div. 1995)
  • N.J.S.A. 20:3-2(j) – appealable as of right
  • NJSA 20:3-19 re possession
  • State v. Shein, 283 N.J.Super 588 (App. Div. 1995)
  • R. 4:73-6
  • Paterson v. Bienstock, 123 NJSuper 457 (App.Div. 1973)(no burden of proof)
  • Eminent domain from Start to Finish

    1. 1. NATIONAL BUSINESS INSTITUTE Eminent Domain From Start to Finish June 3, 2013
    2. 2. The Panel 2 Anthony F. Della Pelle, Esq. , CRE (Moderator) John H. Buonocore, Jr. Esq. Thomas M. Olson, Esq. Paul T. Beisser, III, MAI, CRE Value Research Group, LLC William W. Northgrave, Esq. McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC Lawrence H. Shapiro, Esq. Ansell, Grimm & Aaron, P.C. Mark W. Sussman, MAI, CRE Lasser Sussman Associates, LLC
    3. 3. Course Outline 3 The Eminent Domain Process  Condemnor vs. Condemnee Perspectives Calculating Just Compensation: Appraisers’ Insights Relocation Assistance Challenging the Right to Condemn Trial Practice and Strategy Ethics in Condemnation
    4. 4. The Eminent Domain Process 4 Constitutional and Legislative Grant of Authority Enabling Legislation – Municipal, County, Special Agency, State and Federal Governments Public Use Requirement Requirement for Just Compensation
    5. 5. Just Compensation 5 "...nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation." U.S. Const. Amend. V "Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. Individuals or private corporations shall not be authorized to take property for public use without just compensation first made to the owners." N.J.S.A. Const. Art. 1, Sec. 20
    6. 6. Just Compensation 6 Compensation for the property taken Reduction in value (damages) to any remaining property Interest Indemnity for loss Attorneys’ fees and costs not generally recoverable by condemnee
    7. 7. Legal Resources 7 Eminent Domain Act - N.J.S.A.20:3-1 et seq. Rule 4:73 (Condemnation) Relocation Assistance Act - N.J.S.A. 20:4-1 et seq., N.J.S.A. 27:7-72, et seq. and regulations - N.J.A.C. 5:11-1; N.J.A.C. 16:6-1.1 et seq. Local Redevelopment and Housing Law – N.J.S.A. 40A:12A:-1, et seq.
    8. 8. Legal Resources (cont’d) 8 21 New Jersey Practice, Skills and Methods, Eminent Domain
    9. 9. Legal Resources (cont’d) 9
    10. 10. Legal Resources (cont’d) 10 The Appraisal of Real Estate, 13th Ed. Appraisal Institute Eaton, Real Estate Valuation in Litigation, 2d Ed., Appraisal Institute New Jersey Condemnation Law Blog: www.njcondemnationlaw.com
    11. 11. Eminent Domain Act of 1971 11 N.J.S.A. 20:3-1 et seq. Uniform procedure applicable to all proceedings in which the power to condemn is being exercised, except acquisitions by PANYNJ which proceed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 32:1-77, et seq. Applies to “inverse” actions
    12. 12. Four-Step Process 12 Attempt at amicable resolution through bona fide negotiations Final judgment on authority for and due exercise of power by condemnor Commissioners’ Hearing Jury Trial on appeal from Commissioners’ Report on the issue of just compensation
    13. 13. Single Issue -Value - Controversy 13 Fact finder is concerned with just compensation only - Court adjudicates all other issues (e.g., title, proceeds allocation) One award representing the value of all interests in the property (“unit rule”) Award must take into account all damages, both present and prospective - no further proceedings or relief
    14. 14. What Constitutes “Property” 14 Real vs. Personal Property As to real estate, “functional unit” test for “fixture” issues Interplay between functional unit and moving expenses as relocation benefit * N.J.S.A. 20:3-2(d) * State v. Gallant, 42 N.J. 583 (1964)
    15. 15. Date of Value 15 Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 20:3-30, the earliest of the following events: Date possession is taken by the condemnor Complaint date Date on which condemnor substantially affects use and enjoyment of property Declaration of “blight” or “in need of redevelopment” determination, but see N.J.S.A. 20:3-38 * See Kirby Forest Industries v. U.S., 467 U.S. 1 (1984)
    16. 16. Prelitigation Matters 16 Prelitigation Entry and Inspection/Evaluation  N.J.S.A. 20:3-16 Title Searches Parcel Surveys Appraisal Environmental Inspections Right of Entry
    17. 17. Bona Fide Negotiations 17 Notice of appraisal inspection Written offer by certified mail Offer not less than approved appraisal Description of property to be acquired Disclosure of all appraisals obtained Minimum 14 days for reply to offer Must address issues raised by owner
    18. 18. Litigation - Phase 1 18 Complaint Order to Show Cause Declaration of Taking Order Permitting Deposit Notices Answer Judgment Appointing Commissioners
    19. 19. Complaint 19 Must include:  a statement showing the amount of compensation offered by the condemnor;  a reasonable disclosure of the manner in which the amount has been calculated. “Reasonable disclosure” by the condemnor includes furnishing the condemnee with:  the map  a description of land to be acquired  the identity of the improvements to be acquired, if any  a statement of the full fair market value  a description of the appraisal valuation method or methods relied upon (cont’d)
    20. 20. Complaint (cont’d) 20  a breakdown of the appraised value allocated to the land to be acquired, and improvements to be acquired, if any; Data concerning comparable sales or leases relied upon in determining the amount of compensation offered which shall include:  names of seller and purchaser or landlord and tenant,  the location of the property by block, lot, street, street number, and municipality,  date of sale or date and duration of lease  the consideration for the sale or amount of rent  the book and page number of the recording of the deed of the comparable sale  any unusual factors concerning the property known to the condemnor which may affect value.
    21. 21. Parties 21 Join all parties with an interest in the property, e.g.:  Tenants, holders of easements, occupants  Mortgagees and other lienholders  Municipality (for taxes) Only those parties who are joined have their interest foreclosed by the proceedings. Easements are to be condemned separately as a “DE” parcel together with the property which it serves; the area of the easement should be designated on the serviant parcel as “SE” and the appraisal should adjust accordingly.
    22. 22. Order to Show Cause 22 Action is brought in a summary manner pursuant to R.4:67. May be presented to the court ex parte. No summons, but language is consistent Served within the state at least 10 days before the return date
    23. 23. Declaration of Taking 23 Basically, a “deed” from the condemnor to itself Fixes the property and rights acquired based on legal description Recorded in County Clerk/Register’s office
    24. 24. Order for Deposit 24 Provides for deposit of estimated compensation (usually the amount of the offer per the appraisal) May be obtained ex parte
    25. 25. Abandonment of Action 25  Provided no declaration of taking has been filed, the action may be unilaterally abandoned by the condemnor  at any time before, or within 30 days after, the filing of the award of commissioners;  or in the event of an appeal from the award, at any time before, or within 30 days after, the entry of judgment;  or in the event that a hearing before commissioners is waived, at any time before, or within 30 days after, judgment has been entered in the action. [N.J.S.A. 20:3-35]  Otherwise, condemnee must consent to abandonment  Entitlement to fees costs and expenses. N.J.S.A.20:3-26(b)  West Orange v. 769 Associates, LLC, 397 N.J. Super. 244 (App. Div. 2007)
    26. 26. Answer 26 Must raise all defenses to the right to take and manner of exercise of the power of eminent domain. Failure to deny the authority of the condemnor to condemn in the manner provided for by the rules constitutes a waiver of the defense. All issues other than those related to value and damages must be determined by the court prior to the appointment of commissioners.
    27. 27. Answer (cont’d) 27 Must demand a jury trial if one is desired. Must be served and filed in accordance with the Rules or pursuant to Order to Show Cause Non-contesting appearance may be filed in lieu of answer; valuation issues preserved. N.J.S.A. 20:3- 12(c).
    28. 28. Denial of Right to Condemn 28 When the authority to condemn is denied, all further steps in the action are stayed until the issue of the right to take has been finally determined. Does “finally determined" mean exhaustion of the appellate process if appellate review is sought?  N.J.S.A. 20:3-11  Bridgewater Tp. v. Yarnell, 64 N.J. 211 (1974)  County of Sussex v. Merrill Lynch, 351 N.J. Super 1 (App. Div. 2002) There is no discovery on the issue of the right to condemn except by leave of court. N.J.S.A. 20:3-12(d).
    29. 29. Some Defenses to Taking 29 No public purpose – bad faith, pretext Lack of necessity Failure to pass requisite authorizations Indefinite description Failure to engage in bona fide negotiations. N.J.S.A. 20:3-6
    30. 30. Return Date of Order to Show Cause - The Right to Take Condemnor’s Procedural and Substantive Compliance with Eminent Domain Act Hearing may be required * R. 4:67-5; R. 4:73-1 * Bergen County v. Hackensack, 39 N.J. 377 (1963) 30
    31. 31. Judgment Appointing Commissioners 31 Final Judgment as to Right to Take and Due Exercise of Power Appoints 3 Commissioners Jurisdiction now with Commissioners Appealable as of right Stay of further proceedings upon appeal?
    32. 32. Deposits into Court 32 The amount of the initial deposit may not be less than the amount of the prelitigation offer N.J.S.A.20:3-18 which itself may not be less than the amount of the condemnor's approved appraisal. Deposits into Superior Court are by administered by the Clerk of Superior Court, Trust Fund Unit, which holds the funds in an interest-bearing account.
    33. 33. Withdrawals from Court 33 By motion and petition Request for dismissal of other defendants Processing withdrawal from Trust Funds Unit Condemnor’s ability to preserve portion of deposit for site remediation Consideration of possession issues
    34. 34. Litigation - Valuation Proceedings 34 Valuation (Appraisal) Commissioner’s Hearing Procedure Jury or Bench Trial – de novo
    35. 35. Elements of Fair Market Value 35 Willing buyer & seller Neither being under a compulsion to act Being fully informed of all facts and circumstances about the acquired property (even if not known on date of value) Owner is not limited to value for the use to which property is currently being put - owner entitled to value for highest and best use. State v. Caoili, 135 N.J. 252 (1994)
    36. 36. Entire Taking 36 •Just compensation determined by “fair market value” of the property as of the date of value
    37. 37. Partial Taking – Two Methods of Valuation 37 • Before and After method value of entire parcel before taking – value of remainder after taking = just compensation • Per Se method value of land taken + diminution in value (or damages) to remainder = just compensation
    38. 38. “Wide Factual Inquiry” 38 • of “all material facts and circumstances – both past and prospective – that would influence a buyer or seller interested in consummating a sale of the property” State of New Jersey by Commissioner of Transportation v. Silver, 92 N.J. 507 (1983) Village of South Orange v. Alden Corporation, 71 N.J. 363 (1976)
    39. 39. Mitigation – Cost to Cure 39 3 Basic Rules: Evidence of cost of restoring remaining property can be no greater than decrease in marked value if left uncured Cannot be speculative (reasonable and certain – previously written existing boundaries of tract) Duty to mitigate by condemnee State of New Jersey v. Sun Oil, 160 N.J.Super. 513 (Law Div. 1978) State of New Jersey by Commissioner of Transportation v. Weiswasser, 149 N.J. 320 (1997)
    40. 40. Commissioners’ Hearing 40 Non-binding arbitration Provide reports 15 days in advance Obtain Award, File Appeal No appearance = no right to appeal * Borough of Keyport v. Maropakis, 332 N.J. Super. 210 (App. Div. 2000)
    41. 41. Appeal from Award of Commissioners 41 File within 20 days of service of award May be relaxed up to 30 days for good cause Non-relaxable thereafter Party may not rely on appeal filed by adversary - Adversary may withdraw * City of Long Branch v. Spanos, A-2936-04T1, 2006 W.L. 1627977 (App. Div. 2006)
    42. 42. Litigation - Trial “De Novo” 42 Condemnor proceeds first No burden of proof Condemnation trial is an "evidential construction of a hypothetical sale” Wide discretion in admission and rejection of evidence Jury view of condemned property. R.4:73-7 Environmental considerations – valuation as if “remediated”
    43. 43. Condemnor’s Perspective 43 Obligations of the Condemning Authority   "…the power to take property through eminent domain is one of the most  intrusive aspects of sovereignty“ [State, by Comm'r of Transp. v.  D'Onofrio, 235 N.J. Super. 349 (Law Div. 1989)].   "…in the condemnation field, government has an overriding obligation to  deal forthrightly and fairly with property owners….  (i)t may not  conduct itself to achieve or preserve any kind of bargaining or  litigational advantage over the property owner….  Its primary  obligation is to comport itself with compunction and integrity, and in  doing so government may have to forgo the freedom of action that  private citizens may employ in dealing with one another. [F.M.C.  Stores, Co. v. Morris Plains, 100 N.J. 418 (1985)].  
    44. 44. Condemnor’s Perspective (Cont’d)   Special Considerations   a. Obligation to "Go First"   - pre-acquisition "Homework" (inspections, title searches, surveys,  appraisals, environmental inspections).   - Bona fide negotiations expansion of "reasonable disclosure" in manner  offer calculated.   - Commission Hearings   b. Stake Out Fair, Defensible Position 44
    45. 45. Condemnor’s Perspective (cont’d) 45 Main Goal   a.obtain payment of just compensation:  paying neither too  much nor too little for condemned property   Damnum Absque Injuria   Certain Classes of Damages are not compensable as a matter  of law.  Basic concept:  damages, to be compensable, must  result from the partial taking of a property and not  something else.    
    46. 46. Condemnor’s Perspective (Cont’d) Damnum Absque Injuria (cont’d)   (1) Loss of business; franchise, future or current profits, tenants or  good will   State v, Comm'r of Transp. v. Hess Realty Corp., 226 N.J. Super. 259  (App. Div. 1988), certif.  den. 113 N.J. 229 (1989), cert. den. 493 U.S.  964 (1989)   but see   State, by Comm'r of Transp. v. Arifee, 2009 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS  2333 46
    47. 47. Condemnor’s Perspective (cont’d) 47 Damnum Absque Injuria   (2) Damages resulting from condemnor's use of land acquired from  others (power lines on adjoining property)   P.S.E. & G. Co. v. Oldwick Farms, Inc. 125 N.J. Super. 31 (App. Div. 1973),  certif. den. 64 N.J. 113 (1973)   (3) Loss of visibility resulting from condemnor's use of land acquired  from others   State, by Comm'r of Transp. v. Weiswasser, 149 N.J. 320 (1997)    
    48. 48. Condemnor’s Perspective (Cont’d) Damnum Absque Injuria (cont’d)   (4) Revocation or Modification of Access and provision of  "reasonable alternative access" pursuant to State Highway Access  Management Act, N.J.S.A. 27:7-89 et seq.   State v. Marlton Plaza Assocs., L.P., 426 N.J. Super. 337 (App. Div. 2012),  certif. denied __ N.J. __ (2012)   - regulation of access accomplished by police power and is not a taking   - administrative scheme regulating access provides adequate protections  to property owners   48
    49. 49. Condemnor’s Perspective (Cont’d) Damnum Absque Injuria (cont’d) (5) Damages attributable to general circuity of travel, changed  traffic patterns or erection of barrier  State v. Monmouth Hills, Inc. 140 N.J. Super. 449 (App.  Div. 1970), certif. den. 57 N.J. 133 (1970)    State, by Comm'r of Transp. v. Charles Investment Corp.,  143 N.J. Super. 541 (Law Div. 1976), aff'd 157 N.J. Super.  14 (App. Div. 1977), aff'd o.b. 76 N.J. 86 (1978) 49
    50. 50. Condemnor’s Perspective (cont’d) 50 Damnum Absque Injuria (cont’d)   (6) Noise and vibration impacts absent proof that there is  measureable increase in noise level and/or vibrations  caused by taking and proof that such impacts are reflected  in the marketplace.   State, by Comm'r of Transp. v. Carroll, 123 N.J.  308 (1991)      
    51. 51. Condemnor’s Perspective (Cont’d) General Benefits of Project May Not Offset Damages   Borough of Harvey Cedars v. Karan, 425 N.J.  Super. 155 (App. Div. 2012) certif. granted 210 N.J.  478 (2012) 51
    52. 52. Successful Handling of Condemnation Case Requires: 52 Appreciation of Constitutional Magnitude of Issues Careful Attention to Procedural Details Careful Attention to Substantive Details  Familiarity with the Property and the Valuation  Concepts
    53. 53. Questions? 53 Anthony F. DellaPelle, Esq., CRE adellapelle@mckirdyriskin.com www.mckirdyriskin.com Lawrence H. Shapiro, Esq. lhs@ansellgrimm.com www.ansellgrimm.com