Use Of Post-Taking Sales Held To Be Admissible.
Wayne County Stadium Authority v Drinkwater , 267 Mich App 625; 705 NW2d 549 (2005).
In Drinkwater , the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's ruling that evidence of sales occurring after the date of valuation (that “post-taking sales”) were admissible. The Court adopted the reasoning in State v Heirs of Halemano Kapahi, 48 Haw 101; 395 P2d 932 (1964), where the Court stated that:
[The courts] usually assume that if property similar in other respects has been sold within a reasonable time of the taking, its sale price is relevant in determining the market value of property taken. As to what constitutes a reasonable time, a wide discretion is vested in the trial court and the appellate courts are reluctant to reverse the lower court's determination as a matter of law.
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that it was within the discretion of the trial court as to whether “post-taking sales were admissible. In order to overturn a trial court's decision, the appellate court must find that the trial court abused its discretion. Thus, a trial court's ruling is given great deference.
The Court also held that the proper standard to be used with regard to consideration of whether the property would be more valuable if assembled with other properties was a “reasonable probability” standard in contrast to the “reasonable possibility” standard used for potential rezoning. Specifically, the Court approved of the trial court's instruction directing the juries to consider whether “a prudent buyer would have had a belief that private assemblage was reasonably probable within a reasonable time and for a reasonable price.”
The Michigan Supreme Court denied Wayne County Stadium Authority's application for leave to appeal in May of 2006.