FIX NU ML1670 V1.01.00.04.rar ##TOP##

FIX NU ML1670 V1.01.00.04.rar ##TOP##

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FIX NU ML1670 V1.01.00.04.rar

On February 3, 1999, the Property Department of ECIA sent a letter to RAR, to its president, to Mr. Rubin and to its attorney. The letter advised that the condemnation of RAR’s property was set aside because of abandonment by the plaintiff. The letter also advised RAR’s counsel that ECIA was preparing a new offer to purchase the property, which was attached as Exhibit A to the letter. The letter also advised RAR’s counsel that although ECIA had abandoned the condemnation, the City could not issue a permit for the construction of the Sportsplex until such time as RAR’s property was released. The letter also advised that any structural testing or excavation on the property would void the release of RAR’s property.

The court further finds that this action is ripe for adjudication and that there are no other adequate remedies available to RAR for its injuries. RAR has sought declaratory relief from the proposed condemnation of RAR’s property and has obtained monetary relief from the federal government by providing for the return of that property.

Plaintiff did not respond to RAR’s request for a release of its property. Therefore, RAR filed an in rem action in the Pontotoc County Circuit Court seeking a declaratory judgment that the City of Tuscaloosa was not the proper party in interest and that ECIA could not take action to condemn RAR’s property. The City of Tuscaloosa filed a Notice of Removal to Federal District Court. Plaintiff RAR filed a Motion to Remand the case to State Court. The District Court remanded the case to the state court.

RAR’s victory is significant as RAR seeks to establish a home for critically endangered animals, restore and bring back to its habitat the unique natural system that has been an ecological treasure for New Jersey. This victory recognizes the accomplishments of RAR and its environmental causes and resolves a long-time dispute among the parties to this action.

RAR contends that ECIA’s acquisition of the property in question is pursuant to the doctrine of eminent domain, as ECIA is attempting to condemn the property without first securing County approval. Further, RAR asserts that Section 17000 of the Public Works Code does not remove a condemnor from the confines of eminent domain. Finally, RAR contends that its property is located in Alameda County. ECIA’s position is not only erroneous, but this position is being made despite the fact that ECIA has not sought County approval for the acquisition of the property in question. ECIA will not be permitted to acquire the property without County approval. In addition, ECIA’s position that its acquisition of the property is exempt is incorrect because the acquisition is not exempt because it does not meet the requirements of Section 17000 of the Public Works Code.
The acquisition of the property violates County approval because of an incorrect title report stating that only half of the property was owned by RAR. ECIA intends to amend the title to show the entirety of the property, but it is premature to amend the title report at this time because County approval for the acquisition of the property has not been granted. The record shows that ECIA’s acquisition of the property was discussed in the San Francisco Board of Supervisors at its meeting held on September 13, 1996. The acquisition of the property has not been approved by the County’s Board of Supervisors or Board of Supervisors’ District 7 because the property is not in Alameda County, and the property is not located in District 7. Also, it is improper for ECIA to purchase the property from the Alameda County Treasurer’s Office, as it is not subject to condemnation. Further, Section 17000 permits condemnors to acquire property by purchase, not by eminent domain, because Section 17000 refers to a condemnation of property by a \”condemnor.\”

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