In this blog series, we aim to get back to basics – that is, to explain some foundational concepts about the kind of law we practice here at Hansen, Howell & Wilkie, PLLC. Today’s key term: easement.
In basic terms, an easement is an interest in real property that is less than fee simple ownership. If you grant someone an easement, you give them the right to use your real property in some way.
Continue reading “Back to Basics: What is an Easement?”
In a closely-watched property rights case out of Minnesota, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a rare 9-0 decision on May 25th, reversing a lower court ruling and holding in favor of the property owner, Geraldine Tyler.
The case of Tyler v. Hennepin County centers on 94-year-old Geraldine Tyler, who owed about $15,000 in property taxes and fees on her condo. Hennepin County foreclosed on the condo and sold it for $40,000. (Note that the foreclosure itself is not the unconstitutional taking.) The County kept the additional $25,000 for itself. Tyler, represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, argued that argued that keeping excess funds from tax sales violates the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment. The Justices agreed: “The taxpayer must render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, but no more.”
In this blog series, we aim to get back to basics – that is, to explain some foundational concepts about the kind of law we practice here at Hansen, Howell & Wilkie. Today’s key term: just compensation.
Sound familiar? This phrase comes directly from the Bill of Rights – specifically, the Fifth Amendment:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. Continue reading “Back to Basics: What is Just Compensation?”
In this blog series, we aim to get back to basics – that is, to explain some foundational concepts about the kind of law we practice here at Hansen, Howell & Wilkie. Today’s key term: condemnation.
In the realm of takings law, “condemnation” refers to the exercise of the power of eminent domain. It is a determination and declaration that a certain property is assigned to public use. Continue reading “Back to Basics: What does Condemnation mean?”
In this blog series, we aim to get back to basics – that is, to explain some foundational concepts about what we do here at Hansen, Howell & Wilkie.
Today, let’s look at the term “eminent domain.” What does that mean? Continue reading “Back to Basics: What is Eminent Domain?”
After years of planning, protests, legal challenges, budget overruns, and delays, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was canceled. On July 5, 2020, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy made a joint announcement, stating the move “was a necessary decision given the legal uncertainties facing the project.” While many landowners in the path of the pipeline celebrated, those whose property was acquired as part of the project are left wondering: what happens now? Continue reading “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline: What Happens Next?”
The North Carolina Department of Transportation continues to monitor their cash reserves in light of the funding shortfalls that caused them to suspend preliminary engineering on more than 900 projects last year. According to the DOT, if a project was already under construction, or if construction was set to start before August 2020, then the timeline for that project has not been affected. If you would like to download an updated list of projects that continue to be affected by cash constraints, click here. As of February 18, 2020, there are more than 40 pages of projects listed.
Citing the costs of cleaning up after several natural disasters, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) acknowledges that funding shortages will delay hundreds of infrastructure projects statewide. In fact, according to an Aug. 30th memo from NCDOT COO Bobby Lewis, preliminary engineering is being suspended on nearly 1000 projects.
Read more at the Triangle Business Journal by clicking here.
The way that billboards are treated in potential eminent domain cases may change soon. House Bill 645 was recently approved by the North Carolina Senate, and some opponents say the bill goes too far. The Bill, which is supported by N.C. Outdoor Advertising Association, relaxes restrictions on moving billboards when the owner of the land no longer wants the sign, or when the land is being acquired through eminent domain. But some localities, as well as Scenic North Carolina, and the Sierra Club, oppose the Bill’s language.
The Mountain Valley Pipeline might have gotten a favorable ruling out of the Fourth Circuit earlier this week regarding the use of eminent domain, but the road has been very rocky for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Work has started and stopped due to lawsuits; permits have been issued, challenged, and revoked; and the projected cost has gone from original estimates of $4B to more than $7B. Dominion now estimates that full service won’t begin until 2021 – a year behind schedule.
Read more here: https://www.wfae.org/post/atlantic-coast-pipeline-delayed-cost-rises-75b#stream/0