Condemnation Blight – Once More With Feeling

We note that the property owners in River Center LLC v. The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York have retained Professor Larry Tribe of Harvard to represent them, and he has filed a petition for certiorari. Robert Thomas’ comments along with a link to the petition may be found here.  The opinion below (by the N.Y. Appellate Division) may be found at 905 N.Y.S.2d 18.

We wish Professor Tribe and his client the best of luck, but being the curmudgeonly type all these years, we feel compelled to mention that we urged the court to tackle this issue way back in 1973 — see Gideon Kanner, Condemnation Blight: Just How Just Is Just Compensation? 48 Notre Dame Law Review 765, 808-810 (1973) — with singular lack of success, although that article was relied on by the Oregon Supreme Court to reach the right result. It appears that the current Court either doesn’t understand this question or doesn’t care about the plight of condemnees whose land is first deliberately blighted and then acquired at the blighted price — a practice that SCOTUS ostensibly condemned over 60 years ago in the Virginia Elec. & Power Co. case.

In the meantimes, miracles do happen, so we’ll just stand by and hope for the best.

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