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Robert Thomas (inversecondemnation.com)
bio: http://www.hawaiilawyer.com/index.php/attorneys/robert_h._thomas_director/
Recent Activity
In this recent decision, the North Carolina Court of Appeals held that when a condemnation is invalidated a court -- but the condemnor has, by quick-take, already built the project for which it (wrongly) took the property -- the owner is not limited to an inverse condemnation remedy (compensation), but... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at inversecondemnation.com
OK, we get that law is a serious business and that one should never make light of others' situations. Each person's claim is important to them, at the very least. But after reading today's Federal Circuit opinion (unpublished, nonprecedential) in Bench Creek Ranch, LLC v. United States, No. 20-2151 (May... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at inversecondemnation.com
We're hoping that someone can explain the Florida District Court of Appeal's recent opinion in Bondar v. Town of Jupiter Inlet Colony, No. 4D19-2118 (May 5, 2021) in a way that makes sense other than the old apocryphal tale of "I don't know why we do things this way, except... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at inversecondemnation.com
A lot of times, when the government has invaded and physically occupies private property, the owner wants a court to find a taking. That's why a typical remedy in these situations is an inverse condemnation action alleging the occupation is a taking requiring the government to provide compensation. And the... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at inversecondemnation.com
R.S. Radford's most-recent article, Knick and the Elephant in the Courtroom: Who Cares Least About Property Rights? in the latest issue of the Texas A&M Journal of Property Law, should be next on your to-read list. Here's the summary of the article: Throughout the thirty-four-year history of Williamson County, one... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
What's this, a court invalidating an attempted taking because it isn't necessary? What gives, Appellate Court of Illinois? Well, in City of West Chicago v. Pietrobon, No. 2-20-0174 (Apr. 28, 2021) (unpub.), the court affirmed the trial court's determination that the taking of a strip of the owner's property might... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
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What's up with that (sorta) snarky headline, you ask? After all, isn't the PennEast v. New Jersey case, heard yesterday by the Supreme Court, a real honest-to-goodness eminent domain case about a pipeline? Doesn't the transcript show terms like "in rem," "takings," "eminent" and "eminent domain" were used a whole... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
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That rail crossing in Chicago We've noted before that gun cases have life of their own, often divorced from strict legal logic. Throw in takings, and you've got a recipe for a difficult challenge. But add to the mix a Supreme Court überlawyer, and maybe your chances go up. Who... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
We post the D.C. Circuit's opinion in Ivanenko v. Yanykovich, No. 20-7033 (Apr. 23, 2021) more for its interesting fact pattern than the holding (which doesn't tell us a lot about "takings" since is this is a case under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, but hey, it did ping our... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
Here's the recently-filed cert petition in a case we've been following. Rather than attempt to sum it up, we suggest you read the petition, especially the Questions Presented: Montana Dakota Utility (hereinafter MDU), a private corporation, employed the power of eminent domain to procure an easement on Vern Behm’s farmland... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
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Two very interesting law review articles (essays) by well-known property experts are now available in the Notre Dame Law Review: Thomas Merrill, The Compensation Constraint and the Scope of the Takings Clause, 96 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1421 (2021). Professor Merrill asks "whether the established methods for determining just compensation... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
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This In Chambers Order recently issued by a federal district judge may just be the most unusual, flat-out wild judicial opinion we have ever read. Citing the Gettysburg Address, Brown v. Board of Education, systemic racism (including eminent domain) systemic sexism, and a slew of newspaper articles, the Central District... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
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Under a Massachusetts statute, local redevelopment agencies have the power to respond to "decadent, substandard, and blighted open areas" either by creating an urban renewal project (redeveloping an area pursuant to a "detailed" and "comprehensive" plan; the statute expressly includes the power of eminent domain for urban renewal projects), or... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
Like a lot of jurisdictions, Kentucky allows (or requires upon demand) the jury to view property being taken by eminent domain. In Kentucky, it's a matter of statute, which requires the court to allow a jury view upon the demand of any party, unless "unusual or extreme circumstances" are present.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
Here are the amici briefs supporting the property owner's cert petition in a case we've been following for a long time, Eychaner v. City of Chicago, No. 20-1214. This is the one in which the Illinois courts concluded that Chicago's desire to prevent "future blight" is enough of a public... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
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Here's one we've been waiting to drop. In San Jacinto River Authority v. Medina, Nos. 19-0400, 19-0402 (Apr. 16, 2021), the Texas Supreme Court held that "statutory takings" under the Texas Government Code include both physical invasion takings as well as regulatory takings. This case stems from flooding allegedly caused... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
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Come at me! (Bolick, J., dissenting) We have a Wexis alert for "Kelo," because that's one of the ways we keep up on the latest developments in this area. That alert doesn't ping all that often, so we were all excited when yesterday, we received an alert notifying us of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
If you're wondering what to do if, during the course of an eminent domain lawsuit or project, a condemnor (or anyone else with the power of eminent domain) invades, occupies, or affects more property than it acknowledges, check out the Indiana Court of Appeals' opinion in Lake County v. House,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
We've been meaning to post this one for a while, and it appears our procrastination has paid off: the Court has asked for a response. Normally, we'd summarize the case and the issues, but in this instance, the cert petition's Question Presented lays it all out: Petitioner, Next Energy, LLC,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
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Takings! Armstrong! Emergencies! Mahon! Jacobson! Add lawprof Shelley Ross Saxer's latest article (forthcoming in the University of Hawaii Law Review), "Necessity Exceptions to Takings" to your reading list. Get it at SSRN here. Rather than summarize it for you, we'll just post the abstract: The doctrine of necessity has strong... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
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Toby Prince Brigham November 24, 1934 - March 19, 2021 We haven't posted in a few days, because we've been busy with a sad but important task - traveling to Miami to pay our respects to a true giant in the field of property rights and eminent domain, Toby Prince... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
Here's the Wisconsin Supreme Court's 4-3 opinion in a case we've been following, Christus Lutheran Church of Appleton v. Wis. Dep't of Trans., No. 2018AP 1114 (Apr. 1, 2021). Even though it was close, after oral arguments, we were hoping for a more positive result. This is the case in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
Go read the Federal Circuit's opinion in Sandwich Isles Communications, Inc. v. United States, No. 20-1446 (Apr. 1, 2021), especially the very-dense fact section. There's a lot there: acronyms, bureaucracy-speak, family-insider politician dealings, tax fraud convictions, and the like. So what's a case like this doing in the Court of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
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This is either a petroglyph of an alien astronaut who visited Earth and gave ancient peoples wonderful space technology like how to build the Pyramids, or it's a guy playing a flute. (I'll go with ancient astronaut.)* When an opinion starts off by characterizing your complaint as asserting "a bevy... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com
Check out the North Dakota Supreme Court's opinion in Cass County Joint Water Resource District v. Aaland, No. 20200171 (Mar. 24, 2021). It's a quick read, and worth your time. North Dakota has one of those "precondemnation entry" statutes allowing a (potential) condemnor to enter private property to check it... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2021 at inversecondemnation.com