MEDIA ADVISORY: Court hearing tomorrow could end eminent domain case for NJ homeowners in Long Branch


Tomorrow's court hearing could resolve long-standing eminent domain battle for homeowners in the MTOTSA neighborhood, Long Branch, N.J.  Pending resolution, homeowners and attorneys will speak to media after court hearing.

1:30p.m./Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Courtroom of Hon. Thomas W. Cavanagh
Hall of Records
One East Main Street
Freehold, New Jersey 07728

Scott Bullock, Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice
Jeff Rowes, Staff Attorney, Institute for Justice
Peter H. Wegener, Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf
William Ward, Carlin & Ward
Property Owners in the MTOTSA (Marine Terrace, Ocean Terrace, Seaview Avenue) neighborhood

On Tuesday, September 15, 2009, at 1:30 p.m., the long-running fight to protect the homes in the MTOTSA neighborhood of Long Branch, N.J., against eminent domain for private gain could come to end. An agreement will be discussed in the courtroom of Judge Thomas Cavenaugh, who has presided over discussions between the parties for the past several months.

The Institute for Justice—a public interest law firm based in Arlington, Va., that litigated the Kelo v. New London eminent domain case before the U.S. Supreme Court—represents the homeowners along with New Jersey eminent domain attorneys Peter Wegener of Bathgate Wegener & Wolf and William J. Ward of Carlin & Ward.

In August 2008, a three-judge panel of the New Jersey Appellate Division unanimously reversed and remanded the June 2006 decision of Superior Court Judge Lawrence Lawson, which had allowed Long Branch to condemn a charming seaside neighborhood known as MTOTSA for a luxury condominium development. (Read the opinion and our blog post of August 7, 2008, on City of Long Branch v. Anzalone. )

After the case was sent back to the trial court and the city announced that it was willing to drop the eminent domain actions, the parties began discussing how to resolve the remaining issues in the case. If the case resolves, attorneys along with MTOTSA property owners will speak with the media immediately after the hearing in the courtyard in front of the Hall of Records in downtown Freehold, New Jersey.

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To arrange interviews with William J. Ward  or property owner Louis Anzalone, please contact Susan Ward at 973-377-3350, ext. 106 or 973-464-5669, evening/weekends.

To arrange interviews with the Institute for Justice, call John Kramer, vice president for communications, at 703-682-9320 ext. 205 or in the evening/weekend at 703-587-1992.

See links to relevant blog posts and court opinions.