Archives: Court Decisions

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A Condemnation Action is Looming — What are a Landlord’s Disclosure Obligations to Potential Lessees?

Before an eminent domain action is filed, public infrastructure projects involve years of planning, environmental approvals, design, and property negotiations.  During this time, property owners and real estate agents/brokers are often faced with deciding what to disclose about the potential condemnation to prospective tenants when attempting to lease out space.  It is a difficult position to … Continue Reading

Tentative Decision Favors Private Utility Company in Takeover Bid

One of the hot issues in eminent domain these days involves the government’s efforts to take over privately-run utility companies.  The argument typically is that the government — which has no profit-making motive — can run the utility at a lower cost, saving the ratepayers money.   Not surprisingly, the utility companies feel otherwise. In California, … Continue Reading

New Opinion Clarifies Takings Law Regarding Affordable Housing Programs

Last year, my partner Ben Rubin reported on the California Supreme Court’s decision in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, which analyzed an inclusionary housing ordinance and held that such ordinances do not qualify as “exactions” and, consequently, are reviewed under a deferential standard that looked at whether the ordinance was “reasonably related” to the city’s … Continue Reading

How to Negotiate a Right of Entry After Property Reserve

Last month, the California Supreme Court’s decision in Property Reserve v. Superior Court provided long-awaited certainty for public agencies after a court of appeal determined the often-used “right of entry” statutes failed to provide adequate Constitutional protection for pre-acquisition investigations and testing.  In summary, the Supreme Court held the right of entry process constitutional, with … Continue Reading

Judge Should Consider Constitutionality of a Dedication Requirement, Not the Jury

Every year or so, a new appellate court decision comes out addressing the proper role of the judge versus the jury on some certain eminent domain issue. Most recently, a trial court, appellate court and the California Supreme Court all grappled with this question:  Does the judge determine whether a dedication requirement is constitutional, or does the jury?  Yesterday, … Continue Reading

Two Decisions out of San Diego Remind Us to Follow the Rules

We don’t often see multiple takings-related cases in one week, but last week we saw three.  The California Supreme Court’s decision in Property Reserve was obviously the most important, but the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal in San Diego also issued two decisions in the same week.  Although both of these opinions are unpublished … Continue Reading

California’s Precondemnation Right of Entry Statutes Upheld — With a Slight Judicial Tweak

For the last two-plus years, we have been waiting for guidance from the California Supreme Court on whether public agencies could utilize the statutory “right of entry” procedure to gain access to private property to conduct investigations and testing. Such activities are routinely part of the environmental approval process for public works projects, and if … Continue Reading
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