The Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled in a case of first impression that the right of first refusal to repurchase excess land condemned for highway purposes terminates when the original condemnee dies, and that right doesn’t pass on to the person’s heirs or estate. In Estate of Richard J. Deeble v. Rhode Island Department of Transportation, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation condemned property in 2001 for a highway project. After the project it had surplus property. However, the original property owners died in the interim. The justices held that the state constitution only provides rights of first refusal to buy such surplus property to the original condemnees and doesn’t extend beyond their lifetimes. The justices rejected the estate’s argument that the right transcends the death of the original condemnee and subsequently passes to his or her heirs, successors and assigns.