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Various sections relating to eminent domain in the Code of Civil Procedure, Government Code, and Health and Safety Code were affected in 2006 following legislative approval of Senate Bill 1210.  (See Exhibit A, #1i)  This bill was introduced on January 26, 2006 by Senator Tom Torlakson following hearings that were held after the Supreme Court rendered its decision in Kelo v. City of New London (2005) 125 S. Ct. 2655.  (See Exhibit A, #1a and #16)


Senate Bill 1210 was assigned to the Senate Committees on Judiciary and Local Government and the Assembly Committees on Housing and Community Development and Judiciary where policy issues raised by the bill were considered.  (See Exhibit A, #3, #5, #10 and #12)  The fiscal ramifications of the bill were considered by the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.  (See Exhibit A, #7 and #14)  Seven amendments were made to Senate Bill 1210.  (See Exhibit A, #1b and #1h)  Subsequent to legislative approval, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 1210 on September 29, 2006, and it was recorded by the Secretary of State on that date as Chapter 594 of the Statutes of 2006.  (See Exhibit A, #1i and #2)


The Unfinished Business analysis of Senate Bill 1210 as last amended that was prepared by the Office of Senate Floor Analyses described this bill as follows:


DIGEST:  This bill changes certain processes that relate to the taking of property by eminent domain.  It prevents issuance of a pre-judgment order of possession without prior notice and an opportunity to respond for the property owner or occupants.  It requires an entity seeking to take property by eminent domain to offer to pay the property owner’s reasonable costs in ordering an independent appraisal of the property.  It defines litigation expenses to include reasonable attorney’s fees and reasonable expert witness and appraiser fees.


The bill also changes certain laws that relate to redevelopment plans.  Specifically, the bill requires a finding of continuing “substantial blight” prior to any exercise of eminent domain pursuant to a redevelopment plan longer than 12 years after the adoption of the plan, and would enact a new conflict-of-interest prohibition applicable to board members of public entities.

(See Exhibit A, #16, page 1)