Condemning Agencies May Introduce Value At Trial Which Is Lower Than Good Faith Offer
Department of Transportation v Frankenlust Lutheran Congregation , 269 Mich App 570; 711 NW2d 453 (2006)
In Frankenlust , the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a condemning authority is not bound by its initial offer of just compensation and may introduce a lower value for the property at trial. The Court also held that if the condemning authority does introduce the lower value, the property owner may introduce evidence of the higher, precondemnation valuation for the purpose of rebutting the authority's lower valuation.
The Court of Appeals found that nothing in the Uniform Condemnation Procedures Act precluded the condemning agency from reassessing and lowering its determination of estimated just compensation. However, the Court also rejected MDOT's argument that it would be unfairly prejudicial and an impermissible admission of an offer of settlement to reveal to the jury that MDOT retained and approved the initial and higher offer for the property.