According to an article by Ken Carlson in the Modesto Bee, "Modesto will try eminent domain," the Modesto City Council this week voted 6-0 in favor of utilizing eminent domain to acquire easements necessary for the widening of Roselle Avenue. The remaining hold-out properties include part-takes from a seven-acre ranchette and a two-and-a-half acre vacant lot. The owner of the ranchette, Daniel Nickles, claims the City's survey is flawed, and its $15,000 offer is less than a tenth of fair market value.
The acquisition if Nickles' property includes a 5-foot by ...
In response to my earlier post on the Pombo decision, I was asked whether complying with the decision to avoid an award of litigation expenses would expose the agency to an illegal gift of public funds claim.
This is an issue that arises with some frequency with public agencies, where people are understandably -- and appropriately -- sensitive to claims that they have misused taxpayer money. In particular, people worry about making an "illegal gift of public funds." This principle arises from the idea that taxpayer money must be used for public purposes; the government cannot simply ...
There was an interesting discussion at the IRWA Chapter 57 seminar last Friday, and it’s one that I have seen play out many times in many contexts, so I thought it was worth a short discussion here. The issue was when the illegal gift of public funds doctrine comes into play in the context of an eminent domain case (the text appears in Article XVI, section 6 of the California Constitution). The concept is simple: The government cannot give away public funds to a private person or company. The eminent domain scenario is all too frequent: A proposed settlement is for more than the property’s ...
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