The state and Long Beach Township must pay seven oceanfront homeowners for illegally taking their properties for six months for a storm protection project.
NJ.com reports that a state judge ruled that the property owners are entitled to fair market value and interest, along with a pro-rated share of taxes and attorneys' fees.
The July 16 decision is another domino to fall after the state and the Ocean County town attempted to obtain property easements from about 50 residents to construct sand dunes along Long Beach Island.
State and town officials are working out who will actually pay because although Long Beach Township took the homes, it did so under the direction of the state's Environmental Protection Department.
The homeowners filed suit against the government entities in November.