Additionally, while New York law always granted a landowner whose property is targeted for seizure a 30-day appeal period, the Court agreed with Atlantic Legal’s arguments and mandated that the notice to the landowner must now "conspicuously mention" this appeal period.
The case, Brody v. Village of Port Chester, pitted William Brody, Atlantic Legal Foundation, and the Institute of Justice against public officials who condemned Mr. Brody’s property in Port Chester to pave the way for a big box shopping center and marina. Mr. Brody reported never having received personal notification of the village board’s decision to take his property. Atlantic Legal Foundation argued that such behavior violated New Yorkers’ Due Process rights, since a proper notice would have informed Mr. Brody of his ability to seek judicial review of the decision. Because he did not see the State’s notice of condemnation in the local newspaper, Mr. Brody was not aware of his rights as a citizen.
The federal appeals court reversed an earlier district court ruling, and ordered that Mr. Brody receive a fair trial on his claim that he did not get actual notice of the village’s determination to condemn his property. This victory gives hope to many more property owners, who in increasing numbers are challenging the illegal seizure of their property by governmental authorities.