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Special Benefits: One Phrase, Two Meanings

Special benefits under the law are addressed in two contexts – actions involving just compensation under the eminent domain statutes (Wis. Stat. Ch. 32) and actions involving special assessments under Wis. Stat. Ch. 66. Under eminent domain law, if the landowner’s property has received a “special benefit” as a result of the public improvement, the […]


Update: Briefs Roll in Amid Murr v. State of Wisconsin SCOTUS Appeal

We’ve been watching Murr v. State of Wisconsin, a regulatory taking case involving a St. Croix River family cabin, closely since the Supreme Court of the United States accepted review. The briefs are now rolling in. As explained in a previous blog post, the issue in Murr is whether two small, adjacent residential lots may […]


The Family Cabin Goes to the High Court

The U.S. Supreme Court Accepts Review of Murr v. State of Wisconsin A longer version of this blog entry appeared in the March 2016 issue of Inside Track. A family cabin on the shores of the St. Croix Scenic Riverway in Troy, Wisconsin, is making national news among eminent domain watchers. The Murr family purchased […]

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Raising Issues of Statutory Compliance…And No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

What happens when a condemnor offers to pay more for a taking than its appraiser found for damages? Most landowners would be pleased. In this case, the landowner apparently was not, claiming the condemnor failed to base its jurisdictional offer on the appraisal amount because the offer was higher than the appraisal. Thus, the argument […]

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Court of Appeals Allows Expert Testimony on Permit Issue and Bars Similar Sale Evidence

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently issued a decision permitting a DOT appraiser to testify that a landowner would have been required to obtain a new driveway access permit from the DOT to convert his property to a commercial use. This resulted in a lower value for the subject property. In the same ruling, the […]