Fee Reimbursement For Couple Over Property Condemnation Dispute

Apr 24, 2014

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MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court has ruled that the state's Department of Transportation must pay legal and other fees for a Middletown couple who successfully challenged an attempt to condemn their property for a highway project.

The state's high court found Wednesday that state law "clearly contemplates" that the reimbursement rule applies to reasonable attorney, appraisal and engineering fees incurred in a condemnation challenge.

The decision follows a Supreme Court ruling last year against the agency's condemnation of the property for the Route 301 project. In the earlier ruling, justices found the agency relied on a flawed appraisal in paying $133,000 for 1.5 acres of a 10-acre plot owned by Jack and Mary Ann Lawson.

The case has been sent back to Superior Court to determine what the Lawsons are owed.