Municipal attorneys routinely oppose any prerogative writ action filed beyond the 45 days permitted in the Local Redevelopment Housing Law (LRHL) 40A:20-1 et seq. In order to challenge a municipal action, a property owner must file a prerogative writ suit within 45 days of the action of the municipality declaring the property to be within “an area in need of redevelopment.” – By William J. Ward, Esq. (PDF)
….”I would be astonished if the appellate court, at the very least, did not overturn the trial court decision and allow for discovery to permit evidence in a real hearing,” said Institute for Justice (IJ) Senior Attorney Scott Bullock in an interview last week. “I ultimately see the MTOTSA homeowners keeping their homes,” Bullock said, adding, “That is what N.J. redevelopment law requires,” Bullock said.
Peter H. Wegener of Bathgate Wegener and Wolf, Lakewood, with IJ, Arlington, Va., as co-counsel, filed the opening brief in the appeal in the Appellate Division of state Superior Court on behalf of 18 property owners in the Beachfront North, Phase II redevelopment zone. The city is expected to file its response brief within 60 days. …
Attorney William J. Ward, Carlin & Ward, Florham Park, is representing Ocean Terrace residents Louis and Lillian Anzalone in the appeal. The opening brief in the Anzalone appeal was filed in January, according to Ward, who explained that his client is on a different briefing schedule than MTOTSA.
One reason Ward believes that MTOTSA is a couple of weeks behind his clients in the briefing process is due to the city’s attempt to block IJ from being admitted to the MTOTSA case “pro hac vice.” – By Christine Varno, Staff Writer
Owner Contests Value Set For Beachfront Home: Commissioners Put Value Of Home Below City’s Offer, Atlanticville
Attorney William J. Ward filed an appeal in Superior Court last week stating that the value set by condemnation commissioners was far from what his client Frances DeLuca would accept for her Ocean Terrace home with an ocean view. “$750,000 is just not what we are looking for,” said Ward in an interview last week, adding that the amount is what he expected. “We figured the value would come up in that area and we are not willing to accept that amount,” he said. Ward said he is now looking to have the value of the home determined in a jury trial and is expecting arguments to begin sometime in July.
Condemnation commissioners appointed by a Superior Court judge determined the value of DeLuca’s property last month at approximately $25,000 less than a previous offer made by the city to acquire the home, according to city attorney Paul V. Fernicola, Red Bank….
“We had a meeting in October to negotiate a purchase price for the home,” Fernicola said in an interview Tuesday….
“When we negotiated, Mr. Fernicola made it very clear that he wanted to keep everything confidential and said he did not want to read about the meeting in the papers,” Ward said. “Now he is doing just that,” he said, adding, “He violated his own confidentiality agreement. I am not going to negotiate a figure in the papers.” – By Christine Varno, Staff Writer
Fuzzy Math: Eminent Domain Property Acquisition For The Newark Arena Pushes Out Small Business Owner
For the past 22 years, Aguayo’s company, Multicolor, has been manufacturing pom poms of various colors and sizes from his shop on Liberty Street in Newark…..But Aguayo has become a casualty of eminent domain and development plans surrounding the Prudential Center arena, which is under construction. He is packing up his pom pom operation with plans to leave the state’s largest city for Pennsylvania, where he said it is cheaper to do business, and a lot more welcoming …
Aguayo, who has an engineering and machinist background, said he wanted to stay in Newark, but the eminent domain process hurts hardworking people like himself. “I built my business with my sweat,” he said. “I stayed here when nobody wanted to come here.”
His attorney, William Ward, said the housing authority offered him $1.1 million for his business, then increased the offer to $1.5 when Aguayo’s machinery was included. Ward appealed the offer and a commissioners’ panel recommended he receive $2.1 million. Aguayo said he thinks it’s still too low, but he agreed with the commissioners’ settlement. The housing authority, however, hasn’t said anything to Aguayo or his attorney.
“Who’s making the decisions?” Ward said. “They want him out of the property, but nobody can give us any answers. Jorge is frustrated.” – By Barry Carter, Star-Ledger Staff
Tuesday’s seminar, sponsored by Lorman Education Services, touched on many aspects of eminent domain. It was moderated by William J. Ward, of Carlin, Ward, Ash & Heiart LLC law firm in Florham Park, who invited distinguished panelists including state Sens. Ron Rice, D-Essex, and Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth, Mercer. Among presentation topics were: case-law changes, environmental issues, relocation assistance, pay-to-play and redevelopment ethics and legislative reform.
“The public, post-Kelo, is now very much aware of eminent domain,” said Ward. “The public is not in favor of taking private property to give it to a private developer. That’s pretty clear from polling that’s been done. The legislators, if they’re going to listen to their constituents, have to do something about it.” – By Gene Racz, Staff Writer