Federal Takings

Arent Fox's Eminent Domain & Property Rights Practice

Federal Takings

New York


Case Update: D’Ostroph, et al. v. US and Benzin, et al. v. US

Case Information

D’Ostroph, et al.  v. United States

Benzin, et al.  v. United States

(formerly Deck v. United States and White v. United States)

Case Update


Arent Fox Defends New York Landowner’s Constitutional Right to Compensation

On January 7, Arent Fox partner Thor Hearne argued Romanoff Equities v. United States before the United States Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit. In this case, Mr. Hearne defended the Romanoff family’s constitutional right to be justly compensated for land the federal government took from them to construct the High Line in New York City. The High Line is now a popular public park used for taco trucks, latin dancing, and other public recreation.  


Arent Fox Files Appeal on Behalf of New York ‘High Line’ Landowner

Arent Fox has filed an appeal (appeal brief available here) on behalf of a New York City landowner whose property was taken by the federal government for the creation of the well-known “High Line” rail-trail park.


Growing Interest in New York Rails-to-Trails Cases

We will be holding informational meetings for landowners whose claims the government has agreed to pay. In addition, we will also be holding an open house on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 from 9:00am to 5:00pm (with a presentation at 12:00pm) at the Hampton Inn Buffalo South, in West Seneca, New York.


Government Agrees to its Liability for Taking a Group of New York Landowners’ Properties

The government has recently stipulated to its liability for taking a number of properties in this case. For these properties, the government agreed that under New York law, the original railroad only acquired a limited easement to run trains over the railroad right-of-way. When the railroad abandoned its right-of-way and stopped running trains, the easement was then extinguished. The landowners owning the land under the right-of-way should have regained their land free and clear of any easements.


Joseph Deck, et al. v. The United States of America (No.1:13-cv-00789-VJW) and Temple White v. The United States of America (No.1:14-cv-00035-VJW)

More than 150 landowners in Erie and Cattaraugus Counties, New York have filed their inverse condemnation claims against the federal government. These landowners own land abutting a 27.6-mile right-of-way extending from Orchard Park to Ashford, New York.

The Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad originally acquired this rail line in the early 1900s. The railroad was subsequently acquired by Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad, Inc. in 1988.

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Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.