New York courts grapple with public use issue

In a split 3-2 decision, Kaur v. N. Y. State Urb. Dev. Corp., 2009 WL 4348472, (N.Y. App. Div. Dec. 3, 2009), an appellate court in New York found a defective process of determining that a neighborhood was blighted and thus the taking was for the private purpose of helping Columbia University rather than the public purpose of redeveloping a blighted neighborhood. read article.

This occurred only a couple of weeks after New York's high court, the Court of Appeals, held in Goldstein v. N.Y. State Urb. Dev. Corp., 2009 WL 4030939 (N.Y. Nov. 24, 2009), strongly reaffirmed (in a 6-1 decision) that property can be taken for economic development purposes under the state constitution to remove urban blight and that courts should generally defer to legislative determinations of when blight exists. read article