Rutgard v. City of Los Angeles

Facts: A local agency enacted an ordinance to authorize the taking of a property by condemnation. The agency adopted a resolution to acquire the property for the intended use as a constituent service center, which began the running of a 10 year period to use the property as intended for the public good.  The agency enacted an ordinance to reauthorize the use of the property but failed to develop the property and did not adopt a resolution reauthorizing the existing stated public use of the property until after the 10 year period had run.

Claim: The prior owner claims they have the right of first refusal to buy the property since the agency failed to reauthorize the condemned property within the 10-year time span between the adoption of the original resolution and the second resolution.

Counterclaim: The agency claims the prior owner has no claim to reacquire the property since a reauthorization ordinance was enacted within the 10-year adoption period following the initial resolution for the taking.

Holding: A California court of appeals holds the prior owner has the right to reacquire the property since the agency’s resolution reauthorizing the use of the condemned property happened after the running of the 10-year period following  the adoption of the initial resolution.  [Rutgard v. City of Los Angeles (July 30, 2020)_CA6th_]

Read the case text here.