Eminent Domain 2011 Year in Review

We're looking back on 2011's wild ride and looking forward to the twists and turns still in front of us in 2012.  We've summarized all of this into the 2011 version of our annual Eminent Domain Year in Review piece.

For those who don't want to take the time to read the actual article, here are a few of the highlights:

  • In January, Governor Brown proposed eliminating redevelopment agencies.  In June, he finally got legislation to accomplish that goal.  In August, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a legal challenge to the new law.  And on December 29, the Supreme Court upheld the law dissolving California's redevelopment agencies, while simultaneously striking down a companion law that would have provided agencies a "pay for play" mechanism to buy back into the system.
  • For the first time, a California court imposed liability for a regulatory taking under the three-part Penn Central test.  The Avenida San Juan Partnership v. City of San Clemente, 201 Cal.App.4th 1256 court held that the city's efforts to down zone a property to preclude its development triggered liability under Penn Central.
  • In Galardi Group Franchise & Leasing, LLC v. City of El Cajon, 196 Cal.App.4th 280, the Court reaffirmed the rule that a claim for lost business goodwill must derive from the operation of a business on the property, precluding goodwill claims by a franchisor.  However, the court also held that the franchisee could assign its goodwill claim to the franchisor, allowing the franchisor to make a goodwill claim in the name of its franchisee.
  • In Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority v. Alameda Produce Market, 2011 Cal. LEXIS 12171, the California Supreme Court held that one party's withdrawal of a condemnation deposit does not result in the waiver of any other party's right-to-take challenge, despite the general rule that withdrawal of a condemnation deposit effects such a waiver pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1255.260.

For 2012, we expect considerable focus on the fallout from the Matosantos decision as the unwinding of California's redevelopment infrastructure is dismantled (subject to the success of the legislative efforts to modify the new law).  We also expect continued development of the regulatory takings law, with a possible renewed focus on Penn Central. 

Finally, we expect an increasing split in the way the public views eminent domain, with Kelo torch bearers coming down swiftly on perceived "bad" uses of eminent domain (and, in particular, any version of redevelopment-based eminent domain that might arise from the ashes of 2011).  But for traditional uses of eminent domain for public infrastructure projects, we expect increasing support for such projects, as the public sees the public benefits - and job opportunities - massive infrastructure projects can generate.

If you want more, go ahead, click the link and read the entire article (you know you want to).

  • Rick E. Rayl

    Rick Rayl is an experienced litigator on a broad range of complex civil litigation issues.  His practice is concentrated primarily on eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and other real-estate-valuation disputes.  His public ...

California Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain. We cover all aspects of eminent domain, including condemnation, inverse condemnation and regulatory takings. We also keep track of current cases, project announcements, budget issues, legislative reform efforts and report on all major eminent domain conferences and seminars in the Western United States.

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