Important Victory At Utah Supreme Court For Condemnees.

On March 24, 2016, the Utah Supreme Court issued an important decision for private property owners in the State of Utah facing the threat of eminent domain proceedings.  In Salt Lake City Corporation v. Evans Development Group, LLC, the Utah Supreme Court unanimously held that the Salt Lake City Corporation (the “City”) lacked statutory authority to condemn private property owned by Evans Development Group, LLC (“Evans Development Group”).  In so holding, the Court concluded that the City “did not follow the condemnation procedures required by statute” and that condemning authorities do not have power to take property for exchange purposes in the manner the City had attempted.  Based upon these conclusions, the Utah Supreme Court vacated the district court’s Final Judgment of Condemnation, ordered the City to return the property to Evans Development Group, and instructed the district court to determine the monetary damages and attorney fees to which Evans Development Group is entitled as a result of the City’s wrongful condemnation of their property.  Steven J. Joffee, and his former partner at his previous law firm, litigated the appeal on behalf of Evans Development Group.  A copy of the Utah Supreme Court’s opinion can be found here:  https://www.utcourts.gov/opinions/supopin/SLC%20Corp%20v.%20Evans%20Development20160324.pdf