County Eminent Domain
Similar to California state agencies and cities, California counties may exercise the power of eminent domain to obtain privately-owned properties for public use. Also, like state agencies and cities, the county is required to follow the rules of state and federal eminent domain law. A property owner’s best protection when facing a county eminent domain proceeding is to obtain the assistance of the knowledgeable California eminent domain attorneys at Peterson Law Group, an AV Rated law firm recognized for its many years of experience and achievements in legal excellence.
One of the most important tasks our experienced eminent domain attorneys can help property owners achieve is receiving an independent valuation of the property. The county will probably send its own appraiser to determine the fair market value of the property early in the eminent domain process. Real estate appraisal is not an exact science, however, and an independent appraiser may determine that the property is significantly more valuable than the county appraiser believes. This is particularly true in the case of eminent domain, where the appraisers may have different opinions of highest and best use of the property.
Choosing a highly qualified appraiser is one of the best decisions a property owner can make during an eminent domain proceeding. At Peterson Law Group, we choose only highly qualified appraisers and experts to assist our clients in building their valuation cases.
During the eminent domain process, if the property owner is not prepared with an experienced attorney and experienced appraiser, he or she will be at a significant disadvantage during negotiations. A property owner who is supported by a Peterson Law Group eminent domain attorney greatly improves the odds of receiving an amount that truly reflects the value of the property.
If the property owner and county cannot agree on a price, the property owner has the right under California law to have the fair market value of the property determined by a jury. When choosing an eminent domain attorney, no query is more valuable than asking about that attorney’s jury experience. This is important both for trial purposes and for settlement of cases. An experienced Los Angeles trial attorney will be in a stronger position than an attorney with little or no trial experience to negotiate your case to a possible settlement. If the case does not settle, you want to know your attorney has the experience to represent you in trial.
Upholding the Value of Reliable Jury Trial Experience
The Los Angeles eminent domain attorneys at Peterson Law Group base their representation of property owners on their extensive jury trial experience. Our attorneys have won significant victories for clients in jury trials. Some examples include:
$1.425 million for the owners of a multi-family property, determined by a jury to be an appropriate amount after an initial government offer of $960,000.
$3.4 million for the property and business owner of a fiberglass and resin products manufacturing company. The agency initially offered $1.76 million. An additional $992,740 was obtained in settlement for the value of the business goodwill, business fixtures and equipment installed on the property, and relocation.
$4.0 million for a 20,000 sq. ft. parcel located diagonally from the Staples Center. The jury’s $4.0 million award was upheld by the court of appeal, which also awarded litigation expenses. The original offer was $840,000.
$10.5 million for a freeway frontage auto mall property, where the original government offer for the real estate was $5.4 million.
The eminent domain attorneys at Peterson Law Group have dealt with several California counties and county agencies on eminent domain issues. Our experienced attorneys help property owners including corporations, small businesses, and individuals. We choose our clients carefully to ensure we can provide the support each client needs during this difficult experience while still striving for the results each client deserves. To learn more about how our skilled attorneys can help you with your particular situation, please contact us at (213) 236-9720 and we will help you assess the merits of your case.