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News & Publications >> Press & Media >> Justices: Jury, not judge, should decide city's eminent domain action against landowners

Justices: Jury, not judge, should decide city's eminent domain action against landowners

K. Erik Friess in Daily Journal

Property owners in the city of Perris got a break last week when a state appellate panel reversed a trial court's decision regarding the city's eminent domain action against the owners, letting the issue instead be decided by a jury. In the opinion, handed down Friday by the Riverside-based 4th District Court of Appeal, the panel held that a jury, and not a judge, should decide issues that could impact the determination of "just compensation" for the land in question. "It really helps protect the right to a jury trial in eminent domain to important issues that affect valuation," said K. Erik "Rick" Friess, partner with Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP in Irvine who represents the landowners.