CACI No. 3500. Introductory Instruction

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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3500.Introductory Instruction
Public agencies such as the [name of condemnor] have the right to take
private property for public use if they pay the owner just compensation.
New September 2003
Sources and Authority
Constitutional Right of Eminent Domain. Article I, section 19, of the California
Just Compensation. The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Acquisition of Property for Public Use. Code of Civil Procedure section
“The power of eminent domain arises as an inherent attribute of sovereignty that
is necessary for government to exist. Properly exercised, the eminent domain
power effects a compromise between the public good for which private land is
taken, and the protection and indemnification of private citizens whose property
is taken to advance that public good. The Fifth Amendment of the United States
Constitution, made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment, and
California Constitution, article I, section 19 require this protection of private
citizens’ property.” (Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority v. Hensler
(2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 556, 561 [99 Cal.Rptr.2d 729], internal citation omitted.)
“Our Constitution thus guarantees landowners the right to have a jury determine
the amount of just compensation owed for a taking.” (City of Perris v. Stamper
(2016) 1 Cal.5th 576, 593 [205 Cal.Rptr.3d 797, 376 P.3d 1221].)
“This ‘just compensation’ clause in the California Constitution applies to the
state’s exercise of its eminent domain power, constraining it by requiring that
when the state takes private property for public use, the private property owner
is justly compensated.” (City of Oroville v. Superior Court (2019) 7 Cal.5th
1091, 1102 [250 Cal.Rptr.3d 803, 446 P.3d 304].)
‘An inverse condemnation action is an eminent domain proceeding initiated by
the property owner rather than the condemner. The principles which affect the
parties’ rights in an inverse condemnation suit are the same as those in an
eminent domain action.’ (Customer Co. v. City of Sacramento (1995) 10
Cal.4th 368, 377, fn. 4 [41 Cal.Rptr.2d 658, 895 P.2d 900], internal citations
“The principle sought to be achieved by this concept ‘is to reimburse the owner
for the property interest taken and to place the owner in as good a position
pecuniarily as if the property had not been taken.’ (Redevelopment Agency of
the City of Long Beach v. First Christian Church of Long Beach (1983) 140
Cal.App.3d 690, 705 [189 Cal.Rptr. 749], internal citation omitted, disapproved
on other grounds in Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
v. Continental Development Corp. (1997) 16 Cal.4th 694, 720-721 [66
Cal.Rptr.2d 630, 941 P.2d 809].)
“We have long held that this jury right applies only to determining the
appropriate amount of compensation, not to any other issues that arise in the
course of condemnation proceedings.” (City of Perris, supra, 1 Cal.5th at p.
“Although the measure of compensation that is ‘just’ for purposes of both the
federal and state takings clause is often determined by the ‘fair market value’ of
what has been lost, both federal and state takings cases uniformly recognize that
the fair market value standard is not applicable in all circumstances and that
there is no rigid or fixed standard that is appropriate in all settings.” (Property
Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court (2016) 1 Cal.5th 151, 203−204 [204 Cal.Rptr.3d
770, 375 P.3d 887].)
Secondary Sources
8 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Constitutional Law, §§ 1360,
1 Condemnation Practice in California (Cont.Ed.Bar 3d ed.) § 4.1
1 Nichols on Eminent Domain, Ch. 1, The Nature, Origin, Evolution and
Characteristics of the Power, §§ 1.1, 1.11 (Matthew Bender)
20 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 247, Eminent Domain and
Inverse Condemnation, § 247.12 (Matthew Bender)

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