Arizona Daily Star Interviews Carl Sammartino Regarding Eminent Domain Success for Property Owners

The Arizona Daily Star interviewed me recently regarding my successful representation of multiple property owners whose property the City of Tucson condemned using eminent domain for the Downtown Links project:

‘Whenever there is a large dispute, or a large number of disputes ... it indicates that there was some major disagreement between the government agency and the private property owner regarding the value of the property taken,’ said Carl Sammartino, an attorney who represented several of the affected owners.

Though they were on opposite sides of those disputes, Rossi and Sammartino agreed on the principal cause for the disagreements: The boom in downtown development, which led many owners to believe that their properties were worth more than the city was offering. A quick review of the offer and ultimate settlement figures shows that owners ended up with about 60 percent more than what was originally on the table, according to court documents.
— Woodhouse, Murphy. (2017, September 18). Road Runner: Decades in the making, downtown bypass in sight. Arizona Daily Star, pp. A2, A5.

Please refer to my page of reviews on AVVO to see how my clients felt about the results I obtained for them as their eminent domain lawyer. You can also find the original Arizona Daily Star article here on the Star's website or permanently cached here

August 2014 Updates - Implied Easements and Easement Disputes: A Success Story

In July, I successfully defended two property owners against an interesting claim their neighbor made for an implied easement by way of necessity over their properties.

In Arizona, as in most states, an implied easement arises over the portion of an original parcel that retains access to a public street if the original parcel is split in two and the split results in one parcel losing access to the public road network. The slideshow below demonstrates the concept using three parcels instead of two. Note that these properties are for example only; they are not the properties involved in the litigation:


In the litigated case, the owner of the landlocked parcel (similar to Parcel B in the above example) claimed an implied easement over properties that had once been held in common ownership (such as Parcels B and C in the example). However, two important subsequent transactions had occurred that made this litigation more interesting than the typical implied easement case. The owner of the landlocked parcel subsequently purchased adjacent property having access to the public road network, but then, for unknown reasons,  sold that adjacent property, leaving the parcel again landlocked. This slideshow illustrates the two further transactions:


I was successful in arguing on summary judgment the Pima County Superior Court should apply the same logic an appeals court in Florida used in a similar case to hold that an implied easement by way of necessity disappears if the landlocked parcel subsequently gains access to the public road network and again loses it. A landlocked parcel owner should not be able to "reinvigorate" implied easements arising out of necessity if the landlocked parcel owner had previously solved his or her access issue but subsequently recreated the same problem of his or her own free will.

Implied easements present an interesting land use issue that arises more often than one would think. Having an experienced real estate attorney whom you trust can help resolve these disputes favorably before the litigation gets out of control.