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March 31, 2007

Eminent domain case gets serious consideration in court (but the press mostly passes)

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder gives an account (consolidated from several sources) of yesterday's hearing in Federal Court for the Atlantic Yards eminent domain case.

One highlight: U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis entertaining arguments that the federal court is the appropriate venue for this case:

Garaufis seemed willing to at least consider the plaintiffs' contention that, if the case remains in federal court, it would not ride roughshod over the eminent domain process in New York State. The defense has argued that, should the Atlantic Yards plaintiffs succeed, future plaintiffs would all go to federal court, which is more friendly to eminent domain challenges, and thus delay projects that relied in part on eminent domain.

Garaufis also appears to be considering a compromise that would allow discovery even if the case is moved to the state level:

The judge also raised the possibility of permitting discovery--the request for background documents--key leverage for plaintiffs in federal court but not permitted when eminent domain is reviewed in New York state court. (The review in the latter is limited to the established record.) Garaufis mused about permitting some kind of limited discovery and having the case moved to state court.

No word as to when an opinion might be forthcoming. Fill the time by clicking here and reading the details.

Posted by steve at March 31, 2007 9:00 AM