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Schneider v. San Diego, County of

Citation: 32 ELR 20543
No. No. 00-55709, 285 F.3d 784/(9th Cir., 03/21/2002)

The court affirms a district court holding that where compensation was paid long after a taking, an individual was entitled to prejudgment interest, but remands the case for a redetermination of the amount of interest to be awarded. After finding a nuisance on the individual's property due to the presence of several trucks and buses, a county removed the vehicles and sold them for parts. The individual brought suit against the county and was successful on his takings and due process claims. The court first holds that the district court correctly concluded that the individual was entitled to prejudgment interest to ensure that he was put in as good a pecuniary position as he would have occupied had the county paid him for his vehicles when it took them. However, the court holds that the district court erred in determining the proper rate of interest. In determining the amount of prejudgment interest due in actions predicated on an unconstitutional taking, the court must examine what a reasonably prudent person investing funds so as to produce a reasonable return while maintaining safety of principal would receive. On remand, the court must determine a proper and reasonable interest rate based on the "reasonably prudent investor" standard. Additionally, the court holds that the district court should have awarded the individual nominal damages on his due process claim because he was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on this claim.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Louis E. Goebel
Law Offices of Louis E. Goebel
406 Maple St., San Diego CA 92103
(619) 239-2611

Counsel for Defendants
John J. Sansone
County Attorney's Office
3375 Camino Del Rio S., San Diego CA 92108
(619) 531-4040

Wardlaw, J. Before Paez, J., with Tallman, J., dissenting.