California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

3515. Valuation Testimony

You must decide the value of property based solely on the testimony of the witnesses who have given their opinion of fair market value. You may consider other evidence only to help you understand and weigh the testimony of those witnesses.

You may find the same fair market value testified to by a witness, or you may find a value anywhere between the highest and lowest values stated by the witnesses.

If the witnesses disagreed with one another, you should weigh each opinion against the others based on the reasons given for each opinion, the facts or other matters that each witness relied on, and the witnesses' qualifications.

Sources and Authority

Evidence Code section 813(a) provides: The value of property may be shown only by the opinions of any of the following:

(1) Witnesses qualified to express such opinions.

(2) The owner or the spouse of the owner of the property or property interest being valued.

(3) An officer, regular employee, or partner designated by a corporation, partnership, or unincorporated association that is the owner of the property or property interest being valued, if the designee is knowledgeable as to the value of the property or property interest.

"The only type of evidence which can be used to establish value in eminent domain cases is the opinion of qualified experts and the property owners." (Aetna Life and Casualty Co. v. City of Los Angeles (1985) 170 Cal.App.3d 865, 877 [216 Cal.Rptr. 831], internal citations omitted.)

"A jury hearing a condemnation action may not disregard the evidence as to value and render a verdict which either exceeds or falls below the limits established by the testimony of the witnesses. The trier of fact in an eminent domain action is not an appraiser, and does not make a etermination of market value based on its opinion thereof. Instead it determines the market value of the property, based on the opinions of the valuation witnesses." (Aetna Life and Casualty Co., supra, 170 Cal.App.3d at p. 877, internal citations omitted.)

" 'The trier of fact may accept the evidence of any one expert or choose a figure between them based on all of the evidence.' There is insufficient evidence to support a verdict 'only when "no reasonable interpretation of the record" supports the figure . . . .' " (San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Bd. v. Cushman (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 918, 931 [62 Cal.Rptr.2d 121], internal citations omitted.)

Secondary Sources

1 Witkin, California Evidence (4th ed. 2000) Opinion Evidence, § 102

1 Condemnation Practice in California (Cont.Ed.Bar 2005) §§ 9.62-9.64

5 Nichols on Eminent Domain, Ch. 23, Expert and Opinion Evidence, §§ 23.01-23.11 (Matthew Bender)

20 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Chapter 247, Eminent Domain (Matthew Bender)

(New September 2003)