The North County Times reports that Temecula has taken steps that many believe indicate it is going to go to trial to resolve a California eminent domain dispute from 2009.
According to the article, a couple sued Temecula in 2009 for damages of $10 million, claiming the city had illegally condemned their property on which a coffee shop resided by blocking access to the area during construction of the city's Civic Center. Since then, the coffee shop has closed and the couple's property was lost to foreclosure. The attorney for the couple says the special counsel for Temecula acted as though the matter would be settled in a mediation session, rather than settling the dispute in trial. The attorney believes the city is looking to force the couple to either dismiss the case or take it to trial. In May, the City Council conferred about the issue in a private session but did not make an announcement following the meeting regarding their actual intentions.
In most eminent domain cases in California, a city or government agency sues a private property owner in order to take over the piece of property. However, in this particular situation, the couple claims the city's action of blocking access to their coffee shop amounted to an illegal damaging or taking of their property. The city's response was alleging that either way, the couple would have lost the property, and the reason for the loss of property was not due to the construction.
If by September the dispute is not settled in a mediation session, the court has stated a decision regarding whether or not to take the case to trial must be made.
At The Peterson Law Group, our Riverside eminent domain lawyers give our clients personalized attention to help them during what can be a difficult time in their lives. We devise creative, effective strategies while working with highly qualified appraisers to obtain the best possible outcome in each case. Call 213-236-9720 to learn how we can fight for your legal rights.