The misidentification of property being condemned by PennDOT for road construction meant that condemnees could challenge the adequacy of PennDOT’s Declaration of Taking after the expiration of the 30-day time limit for filing preliminary objections imposed by the Eminent Domain Code. In concluding that PennDOT had not provided adequate notice to the property owners, the Commonwealth Court ruled that the burden of accurately identifying the property rested with the condemnor and not the condemnee.
This decision from the Third Circuit deals with a civil rights claim filed by Township residents asserting violations of their First Amendment right to petition their government. At issue was a Township official’s statement to the residents not to communicate with Township officials or employees after the residents’ were perceived to have threatened suit against the Township for its inaction in a dispute with the residents’ neighbors. In reversing the District Court decision, the Third Circuit found that qualified immunity applied to the Township official, because “every reasonable official” in that position would not have known that such a “no contact” email was a violation of the residents’ First Amendment rights.