Can the Government Bulldoze Your Home for No Reason?

John Kramer
John Kramer · October 22, 2018


Can the Government Bulldoze Your Home for No Reason?

N.J. Appeals Court to Hear Argument
In Atlantic City Eminent Domain Abuse Case

Wednesday, October 24, 2018, at 10 a.m.

New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division
Brennan Courthouse
583 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306

Robert McNamara and Dan Alban, Attorneys, Institute for Justice
Charlie Birnbaum, Homeowner

John Kramer, IJ VP for Communications, (703) 682-9320 ext. 205

In one of the most egregious examples of eminent domain abuse in the nation, the New Jersey appeals court will hear argument in the case of Atlantic City homeowner Charlie Birnbaum, whose property is being threatened by New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). CRDA seeks to take and bulldoze Charlie’s home even though it has no specific plans for his land.

In 2016, the trial court ruled that CRDA’s attempt to take Charlie’s longtime family home was a “manifest abuse of the eminent domain power” because there was no plan in place to actually develop the property.

CRDA sought to condemn the home for the benefit of the Revel Casino and Resort—an entity that has since gone out of business. Judge Julio L. Mendez of the Superior Court of New Jersey ordered CRDA to reconsider the project and determine whether it was still feasible in light of the changed circumstances, but CRDA refused to do so. CRDA is now appealing the trial court’s decision, asking the New Jersey appellate courts to grant it the power to condemn any property it wants, at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all.

Representing Charlie Birnbaum, the Institute for Justice opposes CRDA’s efforts to abuse the power of eminent domain.

Charlie tells his story in the following video, in which he also plays the piano: