Monthly Archives: May 2019

Lowball Watch — Indiana

A Superior Court judge in Kokomo affirmed a jury verdict for $305,000 brought in in spite of the city’s claim that compensation should have been only $100,000. What divided the parties was the city’s contention that it was required to pay only for the part taken, whereas the owners also claimed compensation for severance damages caused by the taking to the remaining parcel located across the street from the part taken and housing the defendant firm’s sales showroom (a glass company).

The case was Kokomo v. Estate of Newton, Superior Court case No. 34d02-1612-PL-000937 (April 18, 2019).

See https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/kokomotribune.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/e7/ee7feac4-65eb-11e9-b845-9f11b1919010/5cbf4990d9936.pdf.pdf

California Choo-Choo — Is there Life After Death?

The federal government has announced — reasonably so in our opinion — that inasmuch as California is now not building a “bullet train” line running between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area, the feds want to claw back the $929 million grant given to California to help finance such a railroad line. But now California has cancelled the “bullet train” and is only going to build a fraction of it in the Central Valley, between Bakersfield and Modesto, or some such boondocks. The feds feel taken advantage of and charge California with pulling a “bait and switch.” See Ralph Vartabedian, Bullet Train Agency Sues Feds Over Loss of Grant, LA Times, 5/22/19, at p. B1.

Anywhere else such chutzpa would be fodder for humorists. But hey, man. This is California. So the state is now suing the feds, claiming a legally enforceable  right to keep the federal money even though it means to spend it on a project not like the one for which that money was obtained from the feds. Only in California — which by now has filed umpteen lawsuits against the feds over all sorts of Trump’s policy decisions. Bottom line — at least as discerned by us — is that California Democrats (which means pretty damn near all folks in California’s state  government) hate Trump and this is their way of engaging in “resistance” to his policies. 

It remains to be seen whether the federal courts in California will play along with this game, or whether some federal judges with cojones will tell California that the federal courts are not a political arena, and to cut it out. We shall see.

Afterthought. A sharp-eyed reader reminds us that the irony in this California Choo-Choo caper has no bounds. He reminds us that the “bullet choo-choo” was a pet project of our former Governor (Jerry Brown) but our current Governor (Gavin Newsom) never liked it. But now he has wound up suing the feds to get funding for a railroad project that he didn’t really want built to begin with, and that he has no intention of building in its original, promised form. Ain’t politics just grand?

Lowball Watch — New York

The Rockland/Westchester Journal News of May 7, 2019, reports that in the taking of a privately owned child care center, the condemnor offered $90,960, but the trial court awarded $469,111 plus $233,391 in additional  fees. The Appellate Division affirmed.

See https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/rockland/spring-valley/2019/05/07/spring-valley-day-care-payment/1130260001/