Author Archive | Michael Rikon

What Does Government Do If It Doesn’t Like the Legal Use of a Property? Why It Condemns the Property!

I know, I know, there is supposed to be a public use for the parcel to be acquired.  But, don’t worry, we can find a public purpose later. NY Waterway is an essential ferry operation running ferry and bus service in the Port of New York and New Jersey and in the Hudson Valley.  It has 32 vessels with an average ridership of 18,000 a day.  The ferry company purchased the Union Dry Dock to create a ferry home port for maintenance and fueling.  The City of Hoboken wants the… read more

Posted in Condemnation of NY Waterways, Hoboken, Public Use
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Elon Musk Must Be Nice on Twitter, Or Maybe?

Elon Musk, who recently completed a $44 billion takeover of Twitter, has said, according to the Wall Street Journal, that he would welcome back people who were removed from the platform.  Among those he would welcome back is former President Donald Trump. Trump was booted after his comments to the January 6th riot. Twitter, Musk has said, must be “warm and welcoming to all.” Musk seems to violate his own pledge that the site would not become a “hellscape” under his ownership.  Three days after taking ownership, Musk tweeted that… read more

Posted in Condemnation of Going Concern, Public Forum, Twitter
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Supreme Court Weighs Wetlands Protection.

On October 3, 2022, the Supreme Court heard argument in Sackett v U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ___ U.S. ___ (No. 21-454).  The Sacketts bought their land in 2004 in a subdivision near Priest Lake, Idaho.  They obtained the necessary permits to build a modest three-bedroom family home.  In 2007 they began construction only to have EPA officials demand they stop, alleging that their land was protected wetlands under federal jurisdiction.  The EPA’s compliance order claimed the construction violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) because their property was a federally regulated… read more

Posted in Clean Water Act, Navigable Waters, Wetlands
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Oh, Oh, The City Is Being Sued by Amtrak!

A few years ago, I wrote a blog “Can One Government Condemn Another Government’s Property?” (November 12, 2018) We wrote then: Generally, a body with the power of eminent domain cannot condemn the property of a higher sovereign.  But the key inquiry seems to be, is the current use a public use, since there is a doctrine of prior public use which holds that a condemnor may not condemn property already being used for a public purpose if the proposed use “will either destroy the existing (public) use or interfere… read more

Posted in Amtrak, Condemnation of Government Property, Doctrine of Federal Preemption, Supremacy Clause
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Will The Texas Bullet Train Ever Be Built?

We have written about the Texas Bullet Train several times in this blog, February 28, 2017, May 21, 2020 and October 8, 2020. The project, after a decade since it was announced, is still in limbo.  This is despite a June 2022 ruling by the Texas Supreme Court allowing the company to use eminent domain to acquire its right of way. The company is in complete disarray.  The CEO resigned and the Texas Central Board disbanded.  Land acquisition has stopped for the last two years. The high-speed train that promises… read more

Posted in Eminent Domain, Partial Takings, Severance Damages, Texas Bullet Train
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