With the frequency of wildfires and flooding, landslides are becoming more frequent throughout California. When public agencies have water pipelines located in hillsides, the situation presents the classic “chicken or egg” debate: (1) did the soil movement cause the pipe to displace and leak water, thereby causing the landslide, or (2) did the pipe leak water independently, thereby causing the landslide? Answering this question addresses one of the key factors for liability for inverse condemnation and other real property causes of action: causation. …
It is Christmas in July for eminent domain practitioners! We have a California Supreme Court opinion on a condemnation case, which is rare. The case, Weiss v. People ex rel. Department of Transportation (2020 Cal. LEXIS 4357), is an inverse condemnation action where the main question is this: Can you make a Code of Civil Procedure Section 1260.040 motion, also known as a Legal Issues Motion, in an inverse condemnation action? According to the Supreme Court, the answer is no, these motions are meant to address valuation issues in eminent domain actions -- not determine liability in an ...
On November 27, 2019, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali issued a Memorandum Decision on Inverse Condemnation (“Memorandum Decision”) in PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas & Electric’s (together, “PG&E”) Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California (Case No. 19-30088). PG&E challenged the application of the doctrine of inverse condemnation in connection with the 2015, 2017, and 2018 California wildfires. In the Memorandum Decision, Judge Montali ruled against PG&E and instead concluded that the doctrine ...
If you ask ten attorneys what keeps them up at night, at least six of them will recount nightmares about missing a filing deadline. I know what you're thinking. How hard can it be? You just look in the Code, find the applicable limitations period, and then you're off. However, as with all things law related, it very rarely is that simple. In a recent decision issued by the Second Appellate District, the court explained why filing deadlines are not the only thing practitioners should have nightmares about. In Excelaron, LLC v. County of San Luis Obispo
What happens when a property owner unknowingly pays the electricity bill on a city-owned parking lot for over 15 years? If you said nothing, then you get a gold star.
In Murphy v. City of Sierra Madre (pdf), a recent decision out of the Second Appellate District, the plaintiffs-appellants were the subsequent owners of a piece of property originally purchased from the City through a Disposition Development Agreement. When the City originally transferred the property, it also mistakenly transferred an adjacent electrical meter for a City-owned parking lot. As a result, from ...
Earlier this week, in an unpublished decision (pdf), the Ninth Circuit affirmed the denial of compensation for construction that altered a point of access to an existing business. (Wardany v. City of San Jacinto (9th Cir. 2013) 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 3463.)
For those readers who never forget a post, you probably recall that we discussed the district court's decision a couple of years ago. (See Brad Kuhn's June 1, 2011 Blog Post.) For the rest of us mortals, here is a quick summary. The property owner operated a "One Stop Market" that vehicle traffic could access ...
Yes! And two separate groups recently learned this fact the hard way. On April 17, the Eastern District of California issued two separate decisions dismissing two separate inverse condemnation claims with prejudice because the plaintiffs did not have an independent property interest in the subject property. In Abarca v. Merck & Co. (E.D. Cal. Apr. 17, 2012) Case No. 1:07-cv-0388, a group of minor plaintiffs and a group of non-owner landscape plaintiffs filed an action against the County of Merced, the Merced Irrigation District, and Merced Drainage District ...
California provides a special procedural remedy whenever a lawsuit implicates a defendant's First Amendment right to petition or free speech. The procedure is commonly referred to as the "anti-SLAPP." (SLAPP is an acronym for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.) Under this procedure, the trial court evaluates the merits of the lawsuit using a summary judgment like process, often at an early stage of the litigation. In a recent unpublished decision, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the propriety of applying this procedure when a plaintiff is ...
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