Author Archive | Michael Rikon

Time to Correct Racial Bias in Residential Valuation. Here is The Way to Start.

My December 27, 2022 article for the New York Law Journal discusses the widespread racial bias found in residential appraisals.  Racial bias in home valuation operates as an institutionalized theft of value from the Black community.  Most Americans measure their wealth by calculating their net worth.  The largest component of personal wealth is the ownership of one’s home.  If a racial component is not given a fair valuation of their property, they lose the opportunity to increase their personal wealth, or at least have a fair accounting of same. The… read more

Posted in Appraisers, Racial Bias, Valuation
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What Does Government Do If It Doesn’t Like the Legal Use of a Property? Why It Condemns the Property!

I know, I know, there is supposed to be a public use for the parcel to be acquired.  But, don’t worry, we can find a public purpose later. NY Waterway is an essential ferry operation running ferry and bus service in the Port of New York and New Jersey and in the Hudson Valley.  It has 32 vessels with an average ridership of 18,000 a day.  The ferry company purchased the Union Dry Dock to create a ferry home port for maintenance and fueling.  The City of Hoboken wants the… read more

Posted in Condemnation of NY Waterways, Hoboken, Public Use
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Elon Musk Must Be Nice on Twitter, Or Maybe?

Elon Musk, who recently completed a $44 billion takeover of Twitter, has said, according to the Wall Street Journal, that he would welcome back people who were removed from the platform.  Among those he would welcome back is former President Donald Trump. Trump was booted after his comments to the January 6th riot. Twitter, Musk has said, must be “warm and welcoming to all.” Musk seems to violate his own pledge that the site would not become a “hellscape” under his ownership.  Three days after taking ownership, Musk tweeted that… read more

Posted in Condemnation of Going Concern, Public Forum, Twitter
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Supreme Court Weighs Wetlands Protection.

On October 3, 2022, the Supreme Court heard argument in Sackett v U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ___ U.S. ___ (No. 21-454).  The Sacketts bought their land in 2004 in a subdivision near Priest Lake, Idaho.  They obtained the necessary permits to build a modest three-bedroom family home.  In 2007 they began construction only to have EPA officials demand they stop, alleging that their land was protected wetlands under federal jurisdiction.  The EPA’s compliance order claimed the construction violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) because their property was a federally regulated… read more

Posted in Clean Water Act, Navigable Waters, Wetlands
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Oh, Oh, The City Is Being Sued by Amtrak!

A few years ago, I wrote a blog “Can One Government Condemn Another Government’s Property?” (November 12, 2018) We wrote then: Generally, a body with the power of eminent domain cannot condemn the property of a higher sovereign.  But the key inquiry seems to be, is the current use a public use, since there is a doctrine of prior public use which holds that a condemnor may not condemn property already being used for a public purpose if the proposed use “will either destroy the existing (public) use or interfere… read more

Posted in Amtrak, Condemnation of Government Property, Doctrine of Federal Preemption, Supremacy Clause
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