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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Westinghouse Elec. & Mfg. Co., 339 U.S. 261 (1950)

United States v. Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co.

No. 26

Argued October 13-14, 1949

Decided April 17, 1950

339 U.S. 261


The United States condemned certain premises for use by the Army for a term initially ending June 30, 1943, with an option to renew for additional periods during the existing national emergency. Respondent was lessee of a portion of the premises for a term expiring October 31, 1944, and incurred expenses for the removal of its personal property. Subsequently, the Government extended its occupancy for two additional yearly periods ending June 30, 1945.

Held: although the occupancy taken by the United States was initially for a period less than the remainder of respondent's term, respondent's removal expenses are not relevant in determining just compensation, since respondent's term had been exhausted by the Government's occupancy. Pp. 339 U. S. 262-268.

(a) When there is an entire taking of a condemnee's property, be it a leasehold or a fee, the expenses of removal or relocation are not to be included in valuing what is taken. P. 339 U. S. 264.

(b) Where the Government initially takes an occupancy for less than the outstanding term of a lease, but later exercises a renewal option so as to exhaust the entire lease, this should be treated as a taking of the whole lease. Pp. 339 U. S. 265-268.

(c) Where the Government initially takes an occupancy for less than the outstanding term of a lease with an option for extension, an award based on removal costs should be delayed until it is known whether the Government's occupancy has exhausted the tenant's leasehold. P. 339 U. S. 268.

170 F.2d 752, reversed.

The District Court awarded respondent compensation for the expense of removing personal property from leased premises condemned by the Government. 71 F.Supp. 1001. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 170 F.2d 752. This Court granted certiorari. 336 U.S. 950. Reversed, p. 339 U. S. 268.

Page 339 U. S. 262

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