by Joseph Grather / New Jersey Condemnation Law
The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has been slowly acquiring private property through exercise of eminent domain to “redevelop” the areas near the year-old Revel Hotel and Casino. According to a recent article by the Standard Times Go San Angelo, the redevelopment has progressed slowly because revenue from the Revel was supposed to fund a $50 million redevelopment effort. Instead, the CRDA is acquiring property by tapping into a much smaller $8.5 million dollar discretionary fund.
Many residents and tenants received eviction notices last week. Given that CRDA intends to use its eminent domain authority to take the properties, all homeowners, residents, and tenants alike are entitled (at a bare minimum) to effective relocation assistance pursuant to the Relocation Assistance Act of 1971 (N.J.S.A. 20:4-1, et seq.) Down-payment assistance, rental payment assistance, moving costs, are some of the benefits occupants forced to leave are entitled to as a matter of statutory law in New Jersey.
In addition to relocation assistance, owners of land or residences to be acquired by CRDA are entitled to just compensation under the New Jersey Constitution. In addition, owners are entitled to receive a written offer and an copy of the appraisal upon which said written offer is based. Therefter, the agency has to engage in bona fide negotiations with the owners.
The condemnation or eminent domain process and consequential forced relocation/eviction are complicated and emotional matters. Owners and occupants alike have substantial rights and remedies under New Jersey law and should legal seek guidance or assistance if confronted with these issues.
Originally published by New Jersey Condemnation Law on July 24, 2013; republished with permission
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