However, Remand Was Necessary to Fix His Litigation Expenses on Appeal.
Department of Transportation reached a settlement with condemnee for a right of way purchase under which DOT agreed to pay a certain sum inclusive of interest, fee, and costs. DOT paid. Condemnee, not satisfied, filed a costs memorandum claiming $38,957.50 in costs and fees, which judgment was entered by the lower court. However, DOT moved to vacate based upon the settlement agreement where payment was made inclusive of fees and costs under Code of Civil Procedure section 1268.610 (the eminent domain fee/costs-shifting provision), with the lower court vacating based on the terms of the compromise.
Condemnee appealed, but was rebuffed in People ex rel. Dept. of Transportation v. Scotti, Case No. C067075 (3d Dist. Apr. 12, 2012) (unpublished).
The reason was pretty simple: he already was paid his lower court fees and costs as part of the right of way settlement purchase.
However, that was not quite the end of the matter. Based on the contractual settlement agreement, condemnee argued “well, what about my litigation expenses on appeal?” Good point, appellate court said, remanding for a determination of his recoverable litigation expenses on appeal.