R&J Holding Co. v. Redevelopment Auth.of the Cnty of Montgomery, No. 10-1047 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
To revitalize the Conshohocken waterfront, the Redevelopment Authority of Montgomery County filed a declaration of condemnation of plaintiffs' property in 1996, which had the effect of transferring title to the property, which housed a successful steel processing business. A state court invalidated the taking and awarded attorneys' fees and expenses. Because the Authority held title to the property throughout the state court action, plaintiffs filed a claim in federal court, seeking just compensation. The district court rejected the claim, because they had never asked the Authority whether it would give them “just compensation.” The state court determined that plaintiffs had obtained all the relief to which they were entitled. The district court dismissed their case, holding that plaintiffs should have brought their federal claims as part of their second action in state court. The Third Circuit reversed. Because title passed, this was a per se taking and the claim was not time-barred. Rejecting a claim of issue preclusion, the court stated that the parties never actually litigated the federal constitutionality of the Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on December 15, 2011.