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The Preeminent Domain

An Eminent Domain and Land Use Blog

Category: Compensable Taking

Wisconsin Court of Appeals Says No Taking, Even if Your Business Closes

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals decided an inverse condemnation case,  Aamaans Properties, Inc. v. Wisconsin Department of Transportation,1 on December 26, 2018. Aamaans Properties, Inc. (Aamaans) owned a property on State Trunk Highway 26 with a gas station and a McDonald’s. WisDOT relocated the highway, resulting in circuitous and inconvenient access to the property. The McDonald’s closed, and Aamaans lost the property in foreclosure. Aamaans sued WisDOT for inverse condemnation, claiming that the highway relocation was a taking requiring compensation.... Read More ›
Sara Beachy
Sara Beachy
February 1, 2019

Before the Border Wall is Built the Government Needs a Place to Build It

One of President Donald J. Trump’s campaign promises was to build a wall on the U.S./Mexico border.  He promised that it would be built quickly and that Mexico would pay for it.  When most people think of the costs to build the Border Wall, they think of the costs of the construction, such as the labor and materials.  What they do not think of, however, is the cost associated with acquiring the land needed for the Border Wall.  Not only... Read More ›
Michelle Martin
Michelle Martin
October 31, 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

The $267 Inverse Condemnation Claim

This is an odd case on several levels. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals’ decision on the law was entirely predictable. The odd thing is that the appeal was taken in the first place. The Village of Cross Plains took 703 square feet of Kenneth Ransom’s property to build a road. The award of damages was $6,650. Ransom appealed, claiming he was entitled to $11,300 in just compensation. The Village then apparently submitted an appraisal concluding that Ransom was actually entitled... Read More ›
Steve Streck
Steve Streck
April 28, 2016

Right-to-Work Law is an Unconstitutional Taking

On Saturday morning, April 9, 2016, I read the headline in the Wisconsin State Journal:  “Dane County Judge Strikes Down Right-to-Work Law.” I have to be honest: my first thought was that another out-of-control Dane County judge is running amok, taking his opportunity to stick it to the Walker administration before he retires form the bench on July 31. Could there be another explanation? After all, no right-to-work law has been struck down in any state where it has been enacted.... Read More ›
Steve Streck
Steve Streck
April 25, 2016

Update: Briefs Roll in Amid Murr v. State of Wisconsin SCOTUS Appeal

We’ve been watching Murr v. State of Wisconsin, a regulatory taking case involving a St. Croix River family cabin, closely since the Supreme Court of the United States accepted review. The briefs are now rolling in. As explained in a previous blog post, the issue in Murr is whether two small, adjacent residential lots may be treated as one combined property for purposes of evaluating whether a regulatory taking occurred. Because the Murrs could use and develop their two lots... Read More ›
Sara Beachy
Sara Beachy
April 20, 2016

The Family Cabin Goes to the High Court

The U.S. Supreme Court Accepts Review of Murr v. State of Wisconsin A longer version of this blog entry appeared in the March 2016 issue of Inside Track. A family cabin on the shores of the St. Croix Scenic Riverway in Troy, Wisconsin, is making national news among eminent domain watchers. The Murr family purchased two adjacent riverfront lots in the 1960s. They built a family cabin on one of the lots and kept the other lot for retirement. Now,... Read More ›
Sara Beachy
Sara Beachy
February 19, 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

No Taking, No Compensation

Here is another decision reinforcing the concept that the DOT has to take something away from you before you are entitled to just compensation, and if something is, in fact, taken, the alleged loss has to be connected to what was taken. Our prior post here discussing the 118th Street Kenosha, LLC, v. Wisconsin Dept. of Trans. supports this proposition in a case involving lost highway access by a business. The landowner in this recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision, Anthony... Read More ›
Steve Streck
Steve Streck
May 18, 2015

Supreme Court Rejects Business’s Loss of Value Claim for Lost Street Access

Highway projects regularly change the access points that properties have to roads, and landowners believe (correctly or incorrectly) the change in the access affects the value of their business or property. Few can argue that access isn’t important to certain types of commercial uses. During construction of highway projects, the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) regularly obtains temporary limited easements (“TLE”) to complete the construction of its projects. However, the taking of the easement may not cause the loss of access.... Read More ›
January 15, 2015