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Apr 10 2019

Wisconsin Court of Appeals Determines That No Taking Occurred When Relocated Highway Causes Business Closure

Wisconsin landowners who have their property taken without formal eminent domain proceedings can bring their own inverse condemnation actions for just compensation.  A recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision addressed whether WisDOT’s road relocation amounted to a taking. Aamaans Properties, Inc. v. Wisconsin Dep’t of Transp., No. 2017AP1220, unpublished slip op. (Wis. Ct. App. Dec. 26, 2018)(per curiam) petition for review filed (Wis. Jan. 25, 2019).

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Mar 08 2019

Recent Utah Decision Enforces the Importance of Eminent Domain Provisions In Commercial Leases

A recent Utah case serves as a cautionary tale of the importance of eminent domain provisions in commercial leases. In Utah Dep't of Transportation v. Kmart Corp., 2018 UT 54, 428 P.3d 1118, the Utah Supreme Court examined a provision in Kmart's shopping center lease which provided the lease terminated if eminent domain left Kmart's "points of ingress and egress to the public roadways...materially impaired." In 2010, the Utah Department of Transportation ("UDOT") condemned property which provided access to the property Kmart leased. Both Kmart, as tenant, and its landlord, FPA, sought compensation from UDOT for the condemnation of the access point. In 2012, the Utah Supreme Court held that Utah's just compensation statute required courts and appraisers to determine the value of a condemnation award for each party's property interest separately using the "aggregate-of-interests approach" and remanded it to the district court for further proceedings. Upon remand, after review of separate appraisals of FPA's and Kmart's respective property interests, the district court determined UDOT's condemnation "materially impaired access and caused the [l]ease to terminate" and awarded Kmart $1.4 million plus interest. UDOT appealed.

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