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February 24, 2007

Magistrate says eminent domain case belongs in state court

Atlantic Yards Report provides a must-read for anyone wanting the details of Levy's recommendation:

In a setback for plaintiffs in the Atlantic Yards eminent domain case, U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy yesterday recommended that the federal case be dismissed without prejudice, leaving those challenging condemnations to do so in state court, where they would have less leverage to argue that the project results from a sweetheart deal.
...
Though Levy’s recommendation to federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis is not binding, judges generally follow such recommendations. Still, the parties in the case have ten business days to file objections, and Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, the coalition organizing the 13 plaintiffs—homeowners, business owners, and renters—promised to do so.
...
Irresponsibly, the New York Times today offers a brief Associated Press article on page B2, headlined Judge Urges Dismissal of Atlantic Yards Suit, that indicated that a judge "has the final say on whether the suit survives." It fails to acknowledge that the case could be refiled in state court, though longer versions of the AP story make that point. There's no disclosure of the Times Company's business relationship with Forest City Ratner. The Times, which in January promoted the one reporter who gained expertise regarding Atlantic Yards, never covered the hearing in the case. The Times today also offers an op-ed critical of Atlantic Yards, but the effect of that piece is diminished by the report on the lawsuit.

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Posted by amy at February 24, 2007 10:43 AM