CACI 3515 Valuation Testimony

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

3515 Valuation Testimony

You must decide the value of property based solely on the testimony of the witnesses who have given their opinion of fair market value. You may consider other evidence only to help you understand and weigh the testimony of those witnesses.

You may find the same fair market value testified to by a witness, or you may find a value anywhere between the highest and lowest values stated by the witnesses.

If the witnesses disagreed with one another, you should weigh each opinion against the others based on the reasons given for each opinion, the facts or other matters that each witness relied on, and the witnesses’ qualifications.

Sources and Authority

Evidence of Value of Property. Evidence Code section 813(a).

“The only type of evidence which can be used to establish value in eminent domain cases is the opinion of qualified experts and the property owners.” (Aetna Life and Casualty Co. v. City of Los Angeles (1985) 170 Cal.App.3d 865, 877 [216 Cal.Rptr. 831], internal citations omitted.)

“A jury hearing a condemnation action may not disregard the evidence as to value and render a verdict which either exceeds or falls below the limits established by the testimony of the witnesses. The trier of fact in an eminent domain action is not an appraiser, and does not make a determination of market value based on its opinion thereof. Instead it determines the market value of the property, based on the opinions of the valuation witnesses.” (Aetna Life and Casualty Co., supra, 170 Cal.App.3d at p. 877, internal citations omitted.)

“ ‘The trier of fact may accept the evidence of any one expert or choose a figure between them based on all of the evidence.’ There is insufficient evidence to support a verdict ‘only when “no reasonable interpretation of the record” supports the figure … .’ ” (San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Bd. v. Cushman (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 918, 931 [62 Cal.Rptr.2d 121], internal citations omitted.)

Secondary Sources

1 Witkin, California Evidence (5th ed. 2012) Opinion Evidence, § 103
1 Condemnation Practice in California (Cont.Ed.Bar 3d ed.) §§ 9.62–9.64
5 Nichols on Eminent Domain, Ch. 23, Expert and Opinion Evidence, §§ 23.01–23.11 (Matthew Bender)