Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Lawyer; New Jersey eminent domain lawyer

I tried a case in Bucks County, PA involving a condemnation by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.  PennDOT claim the property was worth $850,000. We presented evidence that the property was worth $2,300,000.  The Jury returned a verdict of $2,300,000 – the full amount we alleged.

Unfortunately, the Turnpike chose to appeal the verdict to the Commonwealth Court. The Court affirmed that verdict. The RDA filed a petition asking the PA Supreme Court to hear it’s appealed. The Court denied that petition.

So, the matter is now formally over and our judgment is final.

The Utah legislature is considering policy changes regarding the acquisition of land for new charter schools and further expansions of existing schools. Specifically, there currently is uncertainty as to the eminent domain powers of charter schools in that state.

The Utah Administrative Rules Review Committee questioned what authority charter schools have to call on the state to seize property through eminent domain laws. Kristen Elinowski, a spokeswoman for the State Charter School Board, said because Utah’s eminent domain statute predates Utah’s charter schools policies, there is need for specific clarification of whether it is the state board of education, the charter school board or the charter school that should be the entity involved in approving the use of eminent domain.

The Missouri State Legislature is considering a bill in response to a proposed electrical transmission line project. House Bills 640 and 795 were proposed by Rep. Nate Walker, R-Kirksville.

If passed, the legislation would:

  • Ask utility companies to use existing project routes when building on private property
  • Require all future routing to take place along boundary or section lines
  • Require all projects to avoid impeding irrigation and use agricultural machinery
  • Require 60% of all land acquired in eminent domain to be given voluntarily
  • Provide tougher restrictions on how the utility company can use the land
  • Limit the amount of pounds per square inch the company can put on the land
  • Limit the number of times a utility company can apply to the Missouri Public Service Commission in pursuing eminent domain

Both bills are waiting to be assigned to committee.

The Iowa House of Representatives recently passed a bill restricting the ability of independent transmission developer to exercise their power of eminent domain. The House passed House Bill 2448 by a 63-33 vote. If passed by the Iowa Senate, developers would have to obtain agreements from 75% of property owners along an electric line’s route within three years or the Iowa Utilities Board would not be able to grant the authority necessary to compel cooperation from reticent landowners along a project’s route. It appears the bill is aimed to block completion of the Rock Island Clean Line, a $2 billion, 500 mile high-voltage direct current transmission project planned by Clean Line Energy Partners.