Re: Litigation, July 2013

07/16/2013 / Real Estate Litigation Practice Group










No Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: Court Holds Property Owner Cannot Rely on Cross-Parking Easement With Adjacent Shopping Center to Meet Parking Requirements for New Use

By Gary Van Cleve, Chair, Real Estate Litigation Department

Many shopping center owners have reciprocal or cross-parking easement agreements with free-standing property owners located either within or adjacent to the shopping center parking lot. The Minnesota Court of Appeals held in a recent decision, reversing the district court, that the owner of the free-standing site cannot rely on a cross-parking easement agreement with a shopping center to meet city parking requirements for a new parking-intensive use on the free-standing site. Read more...

Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District: Implications for Property Owners in Minnesota and Beyond

By Jennifer L. Singleton

Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District redraws the boundaries of when governmental conditions placed on property owners’ ability to use their land violate the Constitution by depriving property owners of use of their lands without just compensation. 




Minnesota Tax Court Case Update: The New Era Begins


The Minnesota Tax Court has two new judges and is awaiting a third.  While we wait to find out who will complete the judicial battery at the Tax Court, we have been monitoring some of the early decisions brought forth by the two newest judges: Chief Judge Bradford S. Delapena and Judge Joanna H. Turner. Here we have three tax court cases and one court of appeals decision: 1) argues for a motion in limine to exclude appraisal reports that use the larger-parcel appraisal theory; 2) argues for a dismissal of many because of non-payment of taxes by only a few; 3) a logical ruling regarding the all-too-common duplicate filing; and 4) the court of appeals reminds us of the balance between appraisal science, art, and judicial valuation decisions. Read more...


July 2013 News and Notes

Gary Van Cleve has been named a Minnesota Super Lawyer for the ninth year in a row.

Tamara O’Neill Moreland and Julie Nagorski successfully represented a group of property owners who were sued by an adjoining landowner for a prescriptive easement over their private road. After a three-day court trial, the judge denied the prescriptive easement.

Rob Stefonowicz was recently recognized for his “valuable contribution to the leadership of the Hennepin County Bar Association” upon completion of his term as Chair of the Eminent Domain Section. The HCBA is Minnesota’s largest district bar association. The HCBA provides 8,400 members with continuing legal education, social events, publications, professional development and mentoring, and opportunities for pro bono work and service to the community.


Julie Nagorski was named a Minnesota Rising Star for the second time.


Tim Rye was accepted as a Candidate for Designation (MAI) with the Appraisal Institute.


Tim Rye negotiated the settlement of a tax appeal for a funeral home reducing the assessed value by nearly $400,000 and saving the taxpayer approximately $75,000 over five years.


Tim Rye settled a tax appeal on vacant land in Scott County reducing the assessed value and taxes by a third.


Larkin Hoffman’s Property Tax GroupGary Van Cleve, Rob Stefonowicz and Tim Rye filed appeals on $153,000,000 in real estate for property taxes payable in 2013.


Gary Van Cleve, Rob Stefonowicz and Jennifer L. Singleton rode for Team Subaru (partially sponsored by Larkin Hoffman) in the 150-mile MS150 bike ride from Duluth to the Twin Cities on June 8-9. Team Subaru raised over $31,000 in support of the work of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


The Larkin Hoffman Real Estate Litigation Department has been recognized in U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Law Firms” rankings in Tier 1 for Land Use and Zoning Litigation.  The Department is the only practice group in the Twin Cities recognized as achieving Tier 1 status in this area of litigation.




Contact Our Real Estate Litigation Department: 

Email 952.896.3277

Jennifer L. Singleton
Email 952.896.6713
Julie N. Nagorski

Email 952.896.1525


Email 952.896.3254  


Email 952.896.6711


Email 952.896.1572

Timothy A. Rye
Email 952.896.1535

This alert is provided as a service to our clients and firm associates.  While the information provided in this publication is believed to be accurate, it is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.