Monday, November 3, 2014

Legacy Schering-Plough Tax Base Erosion Politics: Morris Ave. Facility To Go Off Of The Local Tax Rolls -- To Kean University?

We have been covering this -- for over a year, now. Apparently legacy Schering-Plough purchased the now disputed lands and buildings from the Kean family in 1986, but in the process had to give a right of first refusal to a Kean family trust to buy it all back.

The Union, New Jersey township is concerned that a ruling in favor of Kean University here would take this mammoth chunk of otherwise taxable real estate off the tax rolls. So the township waits nervously. Now the developer who is offering a taxable future for the parcel is due in court, on a motion to dismiss the University's claim. That hearing is this Wednesday.

This is made all the more fascinating in that the heart of the dispute revolves around a seminal 1925 last will of a scion of one of the most prominent families in New Jersey philanthropy and politics. And so without additional ado here, then is a bit from the latest local papers' reports:

. . . .On Wednesday, Nov. 5, attorneys for developer John Russo of Russo Acquisitions are expected to go before Superior Court Judge Katherine Dupuis with a motion to dismiss the university’s claim that a covenant made in the last will and testament of John Kean, Stewart B. Kean and Mary Alice Reynolds, dated Jan. 16, 1925, is legally binding today.

According to information obtained by LocalSource, the legal team representing Kean University admitted [there is no written transfer document -- a deed or other conveyance -- to support their position] in court documents. Apparently they have nothing in writing that transferred the right of first refusal to John Kean, who in turn verbally handed over the right to the university.

Kean conceded they had no written proof that the covenant could be transferred to them, but maintained the will from 1925 clearly stated that the “heir of successor” and those assigned inherited this right of first refusal. Russo’s attorney, however, disagreed.

He maintained that in order for the covenant to legally continue there had to be “something in writing” from the Kean trust dating back to 1925 and anything less violates the law. . . .

We will let you know what transpires, on this legacy Schering-Plough matter. It will turn on whether any similar common law case has been decided in New jersey, on these sorts of fights -- and how that set of cases came out, I predict. We will all learn some New Jersey trusts and estates -- and real estate law, here -- no matter what.


Anonymous said...

off topic but, what are your thoughts on the election results.

Difficult times ahead for the man in the White House?

Condor said...

Sadly, I see gridlock in DC.

The Republicans won't have veto-proof numbers on any agenda item in the Senate.

So it is two years of ever worsening gridlock -- in my view.


Anonymous said...

I can only hope for gridlock~~my feeling is more of the absurd conservative agenda.

But, the voters spoke. They're going to get what they want.

And if they didn't vote, they also are going to get what they want.

Ignorance is not an answer.