PA & NJ Condemnation, Redevelopment, & Eminent Domain Lawyers Stark & Stark’s condemnation, redevelopment and eminent domain attorneys represent private property owners, developers, and governmental entities in eminent domain and real estate valuation matters. The Condemnation & Eminent Domain Group has substantial experience litigating the government’s right to take private property in both public projects and redevelopment matters, and litigating utility cases including gas pipeline cases. They also have substantial experience in real estate valuation, land use, environmental law, commercial litigation, and prosecuting inverse condemnation claims. This multidisciplinary approach allows Stark & Stark condemnation lawyers to serve any additional need that may arise during the property condemnation process. They also work closely with outside professionals such as appraisers, engineers, and planners in order to present compelling expert testimony to the jury or judge. Services Our Condemnation and Eminent Domain Attorneys Provide Our condemnation and eminent domain attorneys work to protect the interests of their clients located in New Jersey & Pennsylvania, which give us a first-hand understanding of the variations between real estate market values. Our attorneys are experienced in: Pre-condemnation planning Pre-condemnation negotiations with the government Full and partial takings Revocation and modification of highway access NJ Department of Transportation road widening and improvement projects Challenging efforts to designate property in need of redevelopment Redevelopment projects – start to finish Negotiating and litigation gas pipeline easements Valuation of large undeveloped tracts, commercial, and multi-family residential buildings, industrial space, and special use properties Inverse condemnation Relocation benefits Inverse Condemnation and Takings The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution allows the government to take private property for a public use, providing it pays just compensation. However, sometimes the government takes or damages property without following the proper procedures or paying just compensation. When this happens, a claim of “inverse condemnation” may arise. Generally, an inverse condemnation occurs (1) when there is a physical taking such as a land seizure, denial of access, or continued possession after a lease expires, or (2) when the government places a regulation or other restriction on property that unreasonably restricts its use. In the later type of claim, it is important to note that not every type of land use restrictions that decrease the value of land amounts to an inverse condemnation claim. As a result, inverse condemnation claims can be more complicated and require experienced lawyers to evaluate the merits of a claim. Stark & Stark’s inverse condemnation attorneys use their extensive experience to defend the rights of landowners, business owners, developers, and property owners. The Inverse Condemnation group has significant success litigating against local, state and federal government entities when there has not been adequate compensation for property that was taken, damaged or devalued. If you have been wrongly deprived of your property rights, our inverse condemnation attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our inverse condemnation attorneys work to protect the rights of our clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and advocate on their behalf, with experience in dealing with claims stemming from: Flooding or water diversion Road construction/installation Installation of pipelines or powerlines Regulatory takings Representative Experience *Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances* In a condemnation by the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the reconstruction of a bridge in Union County New Jersey, the State offered the property owner $40,000 for a partial taking of a 5-foot wide section of land along the highway. The property was being used as a car dealership. After a week-long trial, the jury awarded Stark & Stark’s client $750,000. In a condemnation case involving a large commercial property in Camden New Jersey being taken by the government for a new County facility, Stark & Stark negotiated a settlement of $10,150,000, representing an increase of $2,335,000 above the government’s appraised value. The case was settled on the eve of trial. In a condemnation case filed by a New Jersey public university in Camden New Jersey, Stark & Stark obtained a jury verdict in the Superior Court of New Jersey for $4,450,000 for owner of a historic bank building. The public university argued the property was worth $2,375,000. Stark & Stark was counsel for over 45 property owners, governmental entities and non-profit organizations, opposing the PennEast Pipeline in the United States District Court for The District of New Jersey. PennEast proposed to build a natural gas pipeline (about 114 miles) through Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey. After years of litigation, PennEast dismissed the condemnation action and the pipeline is not being built. In a condemnation case filed by a local municipality in New Jersey to take a pier in Monmouth County, Stark & Stark negotiated a final settlement for $2,500,000. The municipality has appraised the property for $100,000. In a condemnation case filed by a local municipality in Burlington County New Jersey for the taking of a small portion of property to build a sidewalk along the Delaware River, Stark & Stark obtained a jury verdict in the Superior Court of New Jersey for $85,250, more than three times of government’s appraised value of $25,000. Stark & Stark successfully defended an appeal for a commercial property owner and obtained a favorable decision for a property owner against a billboard company who was seeking a large portion of the owner’s award of just compensation. The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey found in favor of Stark & Stark’s client and held that a billboard is personal property for purposes of eminent domain. Stark & Stark Represented public entity as special counsel in the acquisition of property abutting Route 22 in Bridgewater New Jersey on a $60 million road project. Stark & Stark represented a public entity in negotiating complex access and takings issues involving railroad rights, railroad crossing agreements and complex title issues. Stark & Stark negotiated design changes to a road widening project involving the New Jersey Turnpike to protect a property owner against flood damage. Stark & Stark negotiated substantial relocation benefits for the relocation of a chemical company in New Brunswick. *Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances* PennEast Pipeline – What Can I Expect? Shareholder Timothy P. Duggan recently joined Jacqueline Evans, property owner and member of Homeowners Against Land Taking (HALT), on an episode of PrincetonTV hosted by Natasha Sherman. Mr. Duggan and Ms. Evans talked at length about the proposed PennEast pipeline and its anticipated effect on parts of Central New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.