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Compensation for Business Owners in Eminent Domain

It is well known that under eminent domain law, the owner of property acquired by eminent domain is entitled to compensation. In this blog post, we discuss the measure and elements of eminent domain compensation as it relates to business owners.   A landowner may not claim speculative or conjectural damages in an eminent domain proceeding. However, the law recognizes that in addition to the loss caused by the taking of the property, a business owner may also suffer losses incident to ownership of an ongoing small business, e.g. loss of goodwill. In light of the same, the legislature enacted a statute allowing for compensation of loss of business goodwill. Specifically, pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure § 1263.510, the owner of a business conducted

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Posted in Eminent Domain

Fair Market Value as Measure of Compensation for Eminent Domain

It is well settled that just compensation must be awarded for property taken pursuant to statutory provisions governing eminent domain. In this post, I discuss how fair market value is used to measure compensation. Generally, the measure of compensation is the fair market value of the property taken. (Civ. Code Proc. § 1263.310.) In situation where there is no relevant, comparable market, the fair market value of the property is determined by any method of valuation that is just and equitable. (Civ. Code Proc. § 1263.310(b).) The analysis of that value begins with a determination of the highest and best use of the condemned property. (City of San Diego v. Barratt American Inc. (2005) 128 Cal.App.4th 917.) A qualified appraiser typically performs this determination.  (See

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Posted in Eminent Domain

Eminent Domain: Precondemnation Appraisal and Offer

As part of the eminent domain process (a taking by a public entity), the public entity is required to make a reasonable effort to negotiate the taking and avoid court action.  In fact, before a public entity can file an action in eminent domain the subject property must be appraised.    And, the owner of the property has a right to accompany the public entity’s appraiser during the inspection of the property. After the appraisal, the public entity is then required to make an offer to the property for the amount it believes to be just compensation for the property.  Importantly, the offer cannot be less than the amount in the appraisal and the entity must provide the property owner with a written statement for

Posted in Eminent Domain, Litigation

Eminent Domain: Just Compensation in California

At Schorr Law our attorneys have experience dealing with public agencies exercising the right to take property from private individuals via Eminent Domain.  The issue in these cases typically is the owner’s right to receive just compensation for the property.   Indeed, the Federal and State law of eminent domain allows the court to determine the amount of “just compensation” for taking real property whenever the defendant (the owner of the property) contents the amount of compensation. The standard for determining just compensation is to essentially place the owner in the same economic position the owner would have been had the property not been taken.  This necessarily involves a battle of expert appraisers to determine the highest and best use of the property.  Typically, there is

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Posted in Eminent Domain, Litigation

Los Angeles Easement Attorney: Private Eminent Domain Use

There is an intersection between real estate law involving easement and eminent domain.   As active real estate attorneys in both areas of law, we seldom see these two areas overlapping.  But, in some situations a landowner can seek an easement through a neighboring landowner’s property through the exercise of a private right to eminent domain. California law permits a private entity, through an eminent domain proceeding, to acquire an easement to aid its property by showing that there is “great necessity” for the taking of the easement. California Civil Code Section 1001(c)(1). What great necessity means can obviously be an issue subject to dispute. Contact us to inquire about a free consultation at (310) 954-1877, or send us an email at Zach SchorrMore

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Posted in Easement, Eminent Domain, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles

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Zachary D. Schorr has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers (Rising Stars) list for attorneys in Real Estate for 5 straight years - 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. In 2016 he was also included as one of the top 100 lawyers in Southern California in this category. The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers.

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