The Institute for Justice reports that Judge Steven R. Denton has handed down a California Superior Court opinion in favor of the Community Youth Athletic Center (CYAC) in the case of Community Youth Athletic Center v. City of National City, et al.:
The Court struck down National City’s entire 692-property eminent domain zone in the first decision to apply the legal reforms that California enacted to counter the disastrous U.S. Supreme Court Kelo decision in 2005. This ruling, which found that National City lacked a legal basis for its blight declaration, reinforces vital protections for property owners across the state, and underscores why redevelopment agencies should be abolished.
The Court also ruled that National City violated the Due Process clause of the U.S. Constitution in failing to provide the CYAC with statutorily required information prior to an important public hearing.
Finally, in a holding with implications well beyond redevelopment law, the Court also held that when the government retains a private consultant to perform government functions—in this case, documenting the existence of alleged “blight” in National City—documents that the private consultant produces are public records subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act. The Court also set a clear standard for what government agencies have to do in searching the records of their private consultants in response to a Public Records Act request.
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