Recent SCOTUS decision: Tyler v. Hennepin County

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.”


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 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?”

House Bill 3: Protecting the Landowner?

The North Carolina House recently passed House Bill 3, which proposes amending our State Constitution and changing the language in certain statutes concerning eminent domain.

HB3 would amend Article I of the North Carolina constitution to add Section 38, entitled “Eminent Domain”: Private Property shall not be taken by eminent domain except for a public use.  Just compensation shall be paid and shall be determined by a jury at the request of any party.” Continue reading “House Bill 3: Protecting the Landowner?”

Eminent Domain Year-In-Review

The landscape of eminent domain law in North Carolina saw changes both big and small in 2016.  The NC Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ decision in the Kirby case, marking a monumental shift towards protecting property owners’ rights.  As a response, the North Carolina legislature tried their best to contain the damage and limit compensation to those affected landowners.  The repercussions of these changes will ripple in the State for years to come. Continue reading “Eminent Domain Year-In-Review”

NC DOT takes another look at Monroe Bypass environmental data after the 4th Circuit declines to reconsider case

Fast nature creekOn June 29, 2012 the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Department of Transportation’s petition to reconsider the court’s earlier ruling invalidating the DOT’s environmental study for the Monroe Bypass.  In the earlier opinion, decided May 3, 2012, the Fourth Circuit ruled that the DOT “failed to take the required ‘hard look’ at environmental consequences” of the construction of the Monroe Bypass.  As a result, the DOT’s engineers and consultants are “working hard to gather additional data required to address the concerns of the court, ” according to a July 19, 2012 press release. Continue reading “NC DOT takes another look at Monroe Bypass environmental data after the 4th Circuit declines to reconsider case”