More on the New Jersey Supreme Court and Offset of Benefits

If you are really interested in the subject of offsetting benefits that we treated rather superficially the other day, check out the McKirdy & Riskin blog. Click on — for a thorough discussion of that legal development.

Among other things it will provide you with an after-condition picture, showing how that new dune obstructs the view of (and conversely from) the subject property. So would you grant the town the right to do that to your beachfront home for little or no money, but in exchange for the hope that if and when, in the sweet bye-and-bye a hurricane causes damage to beachfront homes, that dune would prevent or greatly diminish the damage to your abode? And what if it fails to do so? Would you then be entitled to your full severance damages that you gave up in exchange for those projected benefits of protection from hurricanes? As far as we are concerned, it’s strictly up to you. But should the government be able to force you to accept those projected — and conjectured — benefits instead of paying cash?

Our observation has been that when the offset benefits don’t materialize or materialize but are later removed, and at the time of the original taking the owner of the partially taken property had his severance damages offset or greatly diminished by the projected benefits, getting paid is like pulling teeth.

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