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Case Style: Scalzo Family Trust v. City of San Juan Capistrano
Court: Superior Court, Orange County, California
Plaintiff's Attorney: Chuck Krolikowski and Carol Zaist, Newmeyer & Dillion, L.L.P., Newport Beach, California
Description: This complex property rights case involved the City's imposition of an unconstitutional condition on the Trust when approving plans for a proposed residential subdivision, according to Krolikowski. The condition required the Trust to dedicate land to the City without compensation, causing the Trust to miss the peak of the real estate market for its proposed ocean-view custom home lots in San Juan Capistrano. While the City finally removed the unlawful dedication condition in response to the court's decision, damage to the property was done; the Trust could not develop its property for almost three years, he stated.
The defenses asserted by Defendant are not available.
Outcome: After a two-month bench trial, the court ruled that the dedication condition constituted a temporary taking of the Trust property, and the Trust was entitled to compensation for the period in which the dedication condition was in place. A nearly month-long jury phase ended with an award of $6,768,000, the exact amount requested by the Trust. In addition to the verdict amount, the Trust is entitled to recover its costs, litigation expenses and attorney fees.