Modification of Road Access: Do Not Sit on Your Rights!

Posted in Condemnation & Eminent Domain

Modification of highway access is one of the most problematic and confusing areas of the law. As a general rule, the government’s use of its “police power” enables it to regulate the state highway system. In New Jersey, the government also has the benefit of the Highway Access Management Act.

In adopting the Highway Access Management Act, the New Jersey Legislature declared: (1) “[t]he State has a public trust responsibility to manage and maintain effectively each highway within the State highway system to preserve its functional integrity and public purpose for the present and future generations” (N.J.S.A. 27:7-90c), and (2) “[t]he access rights of an owner of property abutting a State highway must be held subordinate to the public’s right and interest in a safe and efficient highway.” (N.J.S.A. 27:7-90g).

Often, the government will use these powers to change access to a property and refuse to pay just compensation or damages to the owner. If the change in access is severe but does not rise to the level of an actual taking, the property owner may be left with no recourse. This article provides a brief overview of the process for the modification of highway access.

Continue Reading

Legislation to Expand Lending for NJ Vineyards and Wineries

Posted in Beer & Spirits

Legislation geared towards establishing a loan program for vineyard and winery capital expenses was released by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development last month. The bill (A-4274) would direct the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“EDA”), in consultation with the Department of Agriculture (“Department”), to create a loan program and application process for the purpose of supplying loans to certain eligible vineyards or wineries to pay for qualified capital expenses.

Continue Reading

Eminent Domain and Condemnation Frequently Asked Questions

Posted in Condemnation & Eminent Domain

What is eminent domain and who uses it?

Eminent Domain is the power of the government to take private property and convert it into public use. Government agencies that use eminent domain include state government agencies like the Transportation department and local agencies tied to the municipalities. “The Fifth Amendment provides that the government may only exercise this power if they provide just compensation to the property owners.” This means if the government wants your land for public use it must buy it from you at fair market rates. Usually it tries to buy your property before going through the condemnation process.

Continue Reading

Possible Chapter 22 for EMS Brand – Sports Direct Eying EMS After Poor Holiday Sales

Posted in Bankruptcy & Creditor's Rights

Reuters reports that Sports Direct International Plc, Britain’s largest sporting goods company with about 700 stores throughout Europe, is discussing a bid for Eastern Outfitters LLC (“Eastern Outfitters”), the parent of Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports (“EMS”).

Versa Capital Management LLC (“Versa”) is the owner of Eastern Outfitters. Last April, Vestis Retail Group LLC, the former holding company for Bob’s, EMS, and Sports Chalet, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Versa acquired Bob’s and EMS through the bankruptcy.

Continue Reading

Frequently Asked Questions on Negotiating Pipeline Easements

Posted in Condemnation & Eminent Domain

Negotiating the conveyance of land rights with an experienced negotiator is often difficult and confusing at best. Terms such as temporary construction easement, slope easement, and fee simple interests are thrown around as if the public knows what they mean. Some terms also have acronyms (“TCE” for temporary construction easements or “SE” for slope easements), which further confuse matters. Below we will address some of the more frequently asked questions that we receive from property owners negotiating with pipeline companies prior to the filing of an eminent domain case.

Continue Reading

Gymboree – Next Retailer Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing?

Posted in Bankruptcy & Creditor's Rights

On the heels of The Limited bankruptcy filing, another retailer appears to be on the precipice of Chapter 11.

Gymboree (Gymboree Corp.) reported yesterday that its CEO, Mark Breitbard, will be stepping down once a successor is appointed. Breitbard will assume the role of Chairman of the Board effective February 1st.

Continue Reading

FAQs on Real Estate Revaluations

Posted in Real Estate Tax Appeals

Each year select municipalities appraise all properties within their borders in order to have all tax assessments reflect the current full and fair value of each property within the taxing district. The process, known as a revaluation, is alarming to property owners since they do not know whether their taxes will increase, decrease, or stay the same.

In 2017, revaluations were completed in Trenton, New Brunswick, Milburn, and many other municipalities in New Jersey. This article will address frequently asked questions that we have received over the years.

Continue Reading