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Napier Hat Manufacturing Co. v. Essex County Park Commission

Decided: January 31, 1933.

NAPIER HAT MANUFACTURING COMPANY, APPELLANT,
v.
ESSEX COUNTY PARK COMMISSION, RESPONDENT



On appeal from the Essex County Circuit Court.

For the appellant, Aquila N. Venino.

For the respondent, J. Henry Harrison.

Case

The opinion of the court was delivered by

CASE, J. This is an appeal by Napier Hat Manufacturing Company, a corporation, the owner of lands under condemnation, from the judgment entered in the Essex County Circuit Court on jury verdict on the appeal from the award of the commissioners in condemnation. The appeal is also from two orders made by the Essex County Circuit Court subsequent and incidental to the said judgment.

The Napier Hat Manufacturing company owned and operated a manufacturing plant upon premises in Belleville that were bounded on the east by the Passaic river and that were intersected by a highway, known as Main street, running approximately parallel to the river. Main street became part of state highway route No. 21. The state highway commission in connection with the improvement and development of that route purchased from the Napier company a strip of land fifty feet in width abutting Main street taken from and running the whole length of that part of the Napier company lands that lay between Main street and the river. The acquisition of the land was by deed from Napier Hat Manufacturing Company to the State of New Jersey dated March 14th, 1930, conveying in fee the land so described "together with all right, title and interest of the party of the first part in and to Main street adjacent to the above described premises. Together with such slope and drainage rights as may be required for the construction of said state highway * * *." Thereafter, on August 10th, 1931, the Essex county park commission, acting under the Eminent Domain act (Pamph. L. 1900, ch. 53, p. 79), initiated the present proceedings by filing a petition for the appointment of commissioners for the condemnation, for public purposes, of the Napier company's remaining lands between the highway and the river, subject, however, to the right of the Napier company to use the condemned lands for certain specified purposes. The uses subject to which the lands were taken were enlarged by amendment from time to time, until, as the issue was finally framed on the Circuit Court appeal, the taking was subject to the right of the Napier Hat Manufacturing Company, its successors

and assigns, so long as it or any one of them should use the land on the westerly side of the highway for industrial purposes, to operate, maintain and repair for use in connection with such industrial purposes the existing oil and water pipes, flume and artesian well on the taken lands, with the further privilege of using the bulkhead along the Passaic river frontage of the taken lands for boats carrying fuel oil to tie up to while discharging oil through the said oil pipe for use in connection with such industrial purposes, and to the right of the Napier Hat Manufacturing Company, its successors and assigns, so long as it or any one of them should use the lands on the westerly side of the highway for industrial purposes, to construct and maintain a conduit through the taken lands and to install and maintain in connection therewith pipe lines for use in taking and returning water from and to the river and in carrying steam to barges using the oil pipe.

The verdict rendered by the jury in the Circuit Court in favor of the Napier company was for the sum of $13,000 as against the award of $14,500, made by the commissioners in condemnation. After judgment had been entered on the verdict and costs had been taxed against the Napier company in the amount of $87.80, the latter company moved to set aside the taxation of costs against it; and the Essex county park commission moved that the costs taxed against the Napier company on the trial of the appeal in the Circuit Court should be deducted from the verdict found by the jury and that the judgment be amended accordingly. The first motion was denied, and the second was granted.

On taking the appeal to this court the Napier company wrote down thirty-five grounds. Although eight of these grounds have been abandoned, the number remaining is still too great to be discussed in detail within the reasonable limits of an opinion; but we shall indicate the reasons that bring us to an affirmance of the judgment and orders appealed from.

The first, second, third and sixth grounds go to the overruling of questions that relate to the uses reserved by the condemnation to the owner and that therefore, in our opinion, are immaterial to the issue.

The fourth, tenth, twelfth and twentieth grounds do not set forth the specific rulings alleged to have been erroneously made and therefore are not properly ...


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