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Eminent Domain & Real Estate Valuation

Fox Rothschild has one of the leading eminent domain and real estate litigation practices in the country. Join David Snyder, co-chair of the firm's Condemnation Practice Group, as he provides useful information and commentary regarding developments in the law, updates on projects and helpful tips regarding eminent domain and other real estate litigation related topics. This is an excellent resource for real estate professionals, property owners and condemnors who may be embarking upon a new project.
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Fair Housing Defense

Join Fox Rothschild attorneys Scott Badami and Christian Moffitt as they provide insight and information on and compliance with the Fair Housing Act and its state and local counterparts. The blog provides a forum for issues of interest to apartment owners and management companies as well as professional management employees.
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Recent Blog Posts

  • DOJ Resolves “Design and Construction” Fair Housing Act Case: Settlement Requires Corrective Actions and a Fund to Compensate Victims At the end of last month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had reached a settlement of a new lawsuit with the builders and developers of 31 apartment buildings in Helena, MT in which the DOJ asserted that the projects were constructed in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) as they were not accessible to individuals with disabilities. In the complaint, DOJ alleged that 64 ground floor units were built with steps to entrances, inaccessible bathrooms and... More
  • DOJ Resolves Fair Housing Act Case in Utah Concerning Residents With Disabilities and Service/Emotional Support Animals Continuing its efforts to enforce the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), last week the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that the owners and managers of four apartment communities in Utah agreed to pay $45,000 to settle a lawsuit asserting that they discriminated against residents and applicants with disabilities. The complaint alleged that the defendants failed to provide reasonable accommodations to certain residents with disabilities with respect to their service and/or emotional support animals. The specific claim was that the owners/managers mandated that residents... More
  • HUD Suggests Individuals With Limited English Proficiency Are Now Covered Under the Fair Housing Act On September 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (“HUD”) issued new guidance impacting apartment management concerning residents who have limited proficiency reading, writing, speaking, or understanding the English language (“LEP”). Housing providers who take adverse actions against such people now run a new risk of liability under the provision of the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) protects individuals based upon their national origin. HUD’s guidance concludes that anyone who discriminates against a person because of their LEP (although... More
  • SCOTUS Schedules Murr Argument The US Supreme Court has scheduled oral argument for November for an important eminent case. In Murr v. Wisconsin, the Court will consider wither governments may treat 2 distinct parcels that are contiguous and commonly owned as one parcel for purposes of regulatory taking analysis.  Lower courts are split on this issue. There has been significant briefing by the parties and other interested parties.... More
  • $5,250,000 Settlement Our team recently obtained a settlement worth over $5,250,000 in an eminent domain case. PennDOT, the condemnor, originally claimed the property was worth $1,811,000.  Untimely, we were able to settle for a value of $4,500,000 plus interest in the amount of about $7,500,000.  The property was an industrial property located in Philadelphia.  We were able to settle the case before a board of view hearing thereby minimizing the attorney’s fees.... More
  • TX Launches State Eminent Domain Database The Texas Comptroller’s office has launched a statewide online eminent domain database. This database will show entities who have exercise dthe power of eminent domain.  “This is clearly an area in which transparency is absolutely essential,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “Knowing who can use eminent domain is the first step to ensuring that this potentially oppressive power is used wisely.” The database contains 5,042 entities, including cities, counties, school districts, special purpose districts, pipeline and energy companies, water supply corporations,... More
  • New Criminal Screening Guidelines: Time to Review Your Policy Here we go. Faithful Fair Housing Defense blog readers may recall that I reported on new guidance from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) back in April 2016 noting that what they believe as strict criminal history screening on housing applicants by management may have a “disparate impact” on certain protected classes (in this case African American and Hispanics) as individuals from those two classes are in jail at a higher percentage than one would otherwise expect... More
  • DOJ Files New Sexual Harassment Fair Housing Act Lawsuit Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ filed a new Fair Housing Act (FHA) complaint in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri asserting that two landlords in St. Louis subjected female residents at their property to sexual harassment and retaliation. The lawsuit, which resulted following an administrative complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, asserts that the offensive harassment included conditioning housing or housing benefits on an agreement to engage in certain... More
  • DOJ Settles Familial Status Fair Housing Act Case for $25,000 Late last month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it settled another familial status Fair Housing Act (FHA) case pending against seven Michigan apartment complexes. The lawsuit, filed in November 2015, asserted that the defendants discriminated against families with children by prohibiting them from renting one bedroom units in the properties owned by the defendants.  The evidence to support the discrimination claims was developed by a local fair housing advocacy group which sent testers posing as prospective renters... More
  • NJ Property Taxes Cut $1.5M Under Freeze Act A New Jersey tax court judge has granted a property owner’s request to reduce its tax assessment by about $1.5 million.  The Court found that the taxes should have equaled a judgment entered two years earlier under the Freeze Act. In Norwood Realty Associates v. Township of Ocean, Judge Mala Sundar approved the property owner’s request to use the Freeze Act to substantially lower the taxes on a property located in Monmouth, Ocean Township. The property owner argued that the tax... More
  • Fair Housing and LGBT: State of the Law Discrimination on the basis of sex was added as a protected class to our federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) in 1974 and is settled law. But, is discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT) individuals covered under the FHA?  Should it be?  While LGBT persons are not specifically identified in the text of the statute, that does not end the inquiry.  HUD promulgated regulations which provide that discrimination against LGBT persons in HUD housing (or in home mortgages insured... More
  • DOJ Files Familial Status Fair Housing Act Complaint in Minnesota The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a recent familial status Fair Housing Act (FHA) case in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, asserting that the owner and manager of a small apartment community treated families with children “less favorably” than adults with respect to the use of various common areas. The complaint also claimed that management “printed and published” discriminatory statements which indicated an intent to limit access by children to the entire property. According to the government, the apartment lease provided... More
  • NJ. ST. SEN CALLS FOR ACTION ON EMINENT DOMAIN BILLS NJ State Senator Diane Allen has called for a hearing on two NJ eminent domain bills.  In every legislative session since 2004, Senator Allen has introduced two bills aimed at eminent domain reform. One, S-2505, places a temporary moratorium on the use of eminent domain and creates the Eminent Domain Study Commission to examine its use. The other is a constitutional amendment, SCR-98, that would limit the use of eminent domain to the acquisition of land for essential public purposes. ... More
  • Calif. Supreme Court Rules on Access-Road Case California’s Supreme Court recently issued an opinion that could have far reaching implications in that state.  In City of Perris v. Richard C. Stamper, the Court ruled that a judge should decide whether the city would have required a property owner to give up the strip that was condemned as a zoning condition for developing his land before the jury decides the amount of just compensation. In that case, a city condemned a 1.66-acre strip that divided a nine-acre undeveloped parcel... More
  • Additional Thoughts on Questionable Emotional Support Animal Verifications Three clients have recently sent me multiple emotional support animal medical verifications for review. After a few minutes of research, it seemed pretty clear that the medical verifications came from individuals who “sell” emotional support animal verifications or service animal registrations with just a few clicks of a computer mouse (and a credit card).  Coincidently, two of the verifications (from different properties) came from the same on-line vendor. As I have previously written in this space, leasing office staff members will... More