Newsletter Signup

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Preeminent Domain

An Eminent Domain and Land Use Blog

Author: Justin Lessner

Wisconsin Supreme Court Addresses Town’s Duty to Construct a Replacement Road in Takings Lawsuit

DOT
The Wisconsin Supreme Court decided an eminent domain case, DSG Evergreen Family Limited Partnership v. Town of Perry, that addressed a Town’s duty to construct a replacement road when a taking removes access to the property. The Town of Perry condemned a portion of agricultural property belonging to the DSG Evergreen Family Limited Partnership that resulted in the property being left landlocked.  To address that issue, the Town committed itself to building a replacement road over part of the acquired... Read More ›
Justin Lessner
Justin Lessner
March 27, 2020

Wisconsin Supreme Court Sides With Transmission Line Company in Easement Dispute

The Wisconsin Supreme Court clarified a transmission line company’s rights to trim and remove trees under an easement originally recorded in 1969 in Garza v. American Transmission Co., 2017 WI 35 (April 13, 2017). In Garza, an easement was granted to the Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPSC) in 1969 that gave WPSC the “perpetual right…to erect, maintain and operate an electric transmission line, comprising wood pole structures….”  The same easement gave WPSC the right to enter the property from time... Read More ›
Justin Lessner
Justin Lessner
October 26, 2017

Partial Obstruction of Billboard Does Not Constitute a Taking

The construction of new buildings, bridges, overpasses and other structures can impact the visibility of billboards along a roadway. When an obstruction of a billboard results from a public improvement, does the billboard company have a protected property interest that requires compensation from the government? The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently addressed this issue and held that a partial obstruction of a billboard caused by a new pedestrian overpass did not result in an unconstitutional taking of property rights. Adams Outdoor... Read More ›
Justin Lessner
Justin Lessner
October 26, 2017

Outagamie County Flip Flops on Eminent Domain Decision

Controversy is swirling in the Appleton, Wisconsin area after Outagamie County voted in favor of using eminent domain to acquire property for a new Sheriff’s facility. Outagamie County attempted to purchase the property, but the property owner accepted a rival offer from J.F. Ahern Co. Fire Protection.  After losing out on the bid to purchase the property, the Outagamie County Board voted 17-11 to exercise its power of eminent domain to acquire the property. The Board cited the significant cost... Read More ›
Justin Lessner
Justin Lessner
August 3, 2016

The DOT Made What Argument???

We have seen a lot of arguments that have left us scratching our heads, but one made by the DOT in a recent inverse condemnation case certainly ranks near the top of the list. In Somers USA, LLC v. Wisconsin Dep’t of Transportation, 2015 WI App 33, the DOT refused to compensate a landowner for taking its land for a highway project based on a scrivener’s error. The landowner recorded a survey known as a CSM stating it was “dedicating”... Read More ›
Justin Lessner
Justin Lessner
July 27, 2015

Court of Appeals Allows Expert Testimony on Permit Issue and Bars Similar Sale Evidence

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently issued a decision permitting a DOT appraiser to testify that a landowner would have been required to obtain a new driveway access permit from the DOT to convert his property to a commercial use. This resulted in a lower value for the subject property. In the same ruling, the Court of Appeals barred the landowner from introducing evidence of what the DOT paid other nearby property owners for similar land. While the decision is... Read More ›
Justin Lessner
Justin Lessner
January 5, 2015