California Supreme Court Upholds Pre-condemnation Entry and Testing Law with Addition of Jury Option

Samir Abdelnour
July 27, 2016

On July 21, 2016, the California Supreme Court validated California’s pre-condemnation entry and testing statutes (Code of Civil Procedure sections 1245.010-1245.060), but determined that the law must be judicially reformed to be consistent with constitutional requirements for eminent domain proceedings by allowing affected landowners to have a jury determine the measure of damages to which they are entitled. In Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court, the State Department of Water Resources (“DWR”) sought a court order to enter more than 150 privately owned properties as part of DWR’s effort to investigate the feasibility of building a new tunnel or canal in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for delivering water from Northern California to Central and Southern California.

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