Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert

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The Virginia Supreme Court is set to consider a case that asks whether less than a total loss of access to a parcel is a taking, and is the government’s mere invocation of a “police power” rationale to cut off access is enough to insulate it from the payment of compensation.  When Hooked proposed to develop its property, the City of Chesapeake closed Callison Drive, the street adjacent to Hooked’s property after the neighbors complained.…
Picture 1: how normal people see pie. Picture 2: how you see pie if you’re coming to the ALI-CLE Eminent Domain Conference.  If you get the above, you probably are already set to join us next week for the 37th Annual ALI-CLE Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation Conference in Nashville. (If not, shame on you!). And having just reviewed the latest registration list, I can report that we have an all-time record attendance.  But…
Is a property owner entitled to compensation if the DOT closes off an intersection by which drivers entered a fast-food restaurant, and now can only get to the restaurant by circuitous access? In other words, if a public project limits access, but does not cut it off entirely? And is the answer the same if the state had in 1961, taken with compensation an easement from the current owner’s predecessor, and the former owner had…
If there’s one downside to the law school experience from the teacher’s side of the lectern, it’s grading. Especially at a law school like William and Mary that has a pretty strict mandatory curve. In an upper-division course like “Eminent Domain and Property Rights Law,” where we’re dealing with some very high-level stuff and the quality of the students is uniformly excellent, that makes for some hard choices at this time of…
Here’s the latest in a case (and issue) we’ve been following.  In Puntenney v. Iowa Utilities Board, 928 N.W.2d 829 (Iowa 2019), the Iowa Supreme Court answered a question that has been making its way around: what “public” does the “public use” requirement cover? For the Iowa Constitution, for example, does a taking have to be of direct benefit to the people of Iowa? The court there addressed the issue by not answering the…
We gave up long ago expecting rationality and straight-up-the-middle narratives when it comes to cases about beaches and beach access. People get kind of nuts about that for some reason. We get why (who doesn’t love a beach?), even a beach that could serve as the location if Planet of the Apes is re-made again. Don’t believe us? See this recent video. Or this story with a picture from the 1980s.  But we overcame…
A very short opinion we’ve been meaning to post for a while. In Hickman v. Ringgold County, No. 19-0123 (Nov. 6, 2019), the Iowa Court of Appeals considered property owners’ claim that the taking of their land to create a access road for the neighboring concrete plant was not a valid public use. Seemed like a pretty good claim. After all, Iowa prohibits economic development takings: “public use” or “public purpose” or “public improvement”…