Thu April 24, 2014
Fee Reimbursement For Couple Over Property Condemnation Dispute
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.