He’s an average Joe who fought the law and won. When the city attempted to take away his property through eminent domain, Charles Shennett fought back. Now, the state’s appellate court has sided with him. The court said the city’s taking of Shennett’s property at 254 Summer St. was void, because Shennett did not receive notice of a May 2004 condemnation hearing….
According to court documents, after condemning Shennett’s land in May 2004, the city sold the property for $60,000 to Wayne Asset Management, LLC, of Kinnelon, a company owned by Wayne Alston, a former Passaic councilman. Alston put a two-story house on the vacant lot and sold it for $425,000 in October 2005 to Cerda Orlando, according to property records….
The decision voiding the condemnation forces the city to pay for Shennett’s legal costs under state statute, according to William Ward, an attorney with Carlin, Ward, Ash & Heiart LLC of Florham Park, who specializes in eminent domain cases….”Alston and parties that are occupying the house all presumably had title insurance policies; those title insurance polices come into play and they are going to sue,” said Ward. “That is going to be a real mess for the trial court to sort out.” – By Meredith Mandell