Client Successes Jul 26, 2016

California Supreme Court Sides with Public Agencies on Precondemnation Access Issue

BB&K Partner Kendall MacVey Filed Amicus Curiae Brief

Best Best & Krieger LLP Partner Kendall MacVey filed an amicus curiae brief with the California Supreme Court in a critical eminent domain case. The Court ruled that numerous statutes grant public entities the authority to enter and engage in official activities on private property, including activities related to precondemnation. The brief supported upholding the right-of-entry statute at issue in the dispute.

The ruling and the brief, filed on behalf of the Riverside County Transportation Commission, stem from Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court, S217738. In a unanimous opinion issued July 21, 2016, the Court upheld the State’s precondemnation right of entry statutes as constitutional, reversing a March 2014 appellate court ruling. The Court’s opinion referred to the Third District Court of Appeal’s ruling as “counterintuitive,” and evades the need for extensive statutory changes in how agencies access properties for necessary inspections and testing prior to commencing eminent domain actions.

The ruling is important to public agencies like RCTC and the California Department of Water Resources, which was seeking access to private properties to conduct environmental and geological studies for a possible water transportation tunnel.

 

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