Orleans Levee District VS East New Orleans Michoud Industrial Park, LLC

CIVIL DISTRICT COURT FOR THE PARISH OF ORLEANS
STATE OF LOUISIANA
NO. 08-13114 SECTION “15″ DIVISION “A”

JUDGMENT

This matter was tried to a jury on February 27, 28, 29 and March 1, 2012, by the following counsel and parties:

Tommy Anzelmo (#2533)
Lou Anne Gwartney (#23869)
McCranie, Sistrunk, Anzelmo, Hardy, McDaniel & Welch, LLC
3445 N. Causeway Boulevard, Suite 800
Metairie, Louisiana 70002
Attorneys for Plaintiff and Defendant-in-Reconvention, Orleans Levee District
Randall A. Smith (#2117)
Tiffany Hawkins Davis (#20855)
Smith & Fawer, LLC
201 St. Charles Avenue, Suite 3702
New Orleans, Louisiana 70170
Attorneys for Defendant and Plaintiff-in-Reconvention, East New Orleans Michoud Industrial Park, LLC Continue reading

Eminent Domain After Kelo and Katrina

The United States and Louisiana Constitutions permit the taking (“condemnation” or “expropriation”) of private property without the consent of the owner, provided that the taking is for a public purpose or use and just compensation is paid. In Louisiana, expropriating authorities exercise this power pursuant to specialized procedures intended by the Louisiana Legislature to guarantee due process to landowners. The statutes governing expropriation suits are somewhat complex and lack uniformity among various types of takings, and trial procedures differ greatly from ordinary proceedings.

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, many Louisiana landowners have less property that can be taken, but a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court, Kelo v. City of New London,1 may assist Louisiana governmental agencies in taking property to promote economic development and rebuilding in the aftermath of these devastating hurricanes.

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, made applicable to the states by the 14th Amendment, provides that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Article 1, § 4 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974 provides similarly that “[p]roperty shall not be taken or damaged by the state or its political subdivisions except for public purposes and with just compensation paid to the owner or into court for his benefit.” The terms “public use” and “public purposes” are defined in neither the United States nor Louisiana Constitutions; although these terms have always been interpreted rather broadly, the recent decision by the United States Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London2 appears to have broadened them still further. Continue reading

Louisiana Expropriation Attorney

The Louisiana Constitution prohibits governmental bodies and municipal corporations from taking or expropriating landowners’ private property “except for public purposes and with just compensation paid to the owner or into court for his benefit.” A landowner “has the right to trial by jury to determine whether the compensation is just” and “shall be compensated to the full extent of his loss.” Just compensation includes the appropriate amount of money, not only for the property that is actually, physically taken by the expropriating authority, but also for the damage to the remaining property that was not actually taken.

Many landowners simply accept the amount of money offered by an expropriating authority because they do not know their rights. If your property is taken for a public purpose and without your consent, you may challenge both the asserted public purpose for the taking and the amount of money or just compensation offered or deposited by the expropriating authority. If you successfully obtain at trial more money than the expropriating authority deposited as its estimate of just compensation for the property taken, you may also be awarded your attorneys’ fees, expert fees and court costs. Continue reading

What is Eminent Domain – Condemnation – Expropriation?

Constitutional bases in Louisiana

The Declaration of the Right to Property in the 1974 Louisiana Constitution provides:

Every person has the right to acquire, own, control, use, enjoy, protect, and dispose of private property. This right is subject to reasonable statutory restrictions and the reasonable exercise of the police power.

Property shall not be taken or damaged by the state or its political subdivision except for public purposes and with just compensation paid to the owner or into court for his benefit …. In every expropriation, a party has the right to trial by jury to determine compensation, and the owner shall be compensated to the full extent of his loss. Continue reading