Contra Costa Water District v. Vaquero Farms, Inc.
California Court of Appeal
58 Cal. App. 4th 883 (1997)
Vaquero Farms, Inc. (Vaquero) (defendant) owned 6,000 acres of land in California. Roughly one-third of the land was used for wind-power electrical production under a 30-year lease between Vaquero and a wind-power developer. The lease gave the developer the right to harness and develop wind power on Vaquero’s property in exchange for compensation, including a share of the proceeds from electricity sales. In 1993, the Contra Costa Water District (the water district) (plaintiff) brought an eminent-domain action against Vaquero in California state court, seeking to acquire roughly 3,500 acres of Vaquero’s property for a public-reservoir project. The water district proposed severing some of the wind-power rights from the fee interest in the property and reserving those wind-power rights for Vaquero. Vaquero filed a demurrer to the complaint, asserting that the water district did not have the right to sever the wind-power rights from the condemned fee interest. Vaquero argued that the water district had to condemn Vaquero’s wind-power rights, too, and fairly compensate Vaquero for those rights. The trial court overruled Vaquero’s demurrer, and the matter proceeded to a jury trial on the valuation of the property. The jury ultimately found that the water district owed Vaquero roughly $14.4 million. Vaquero moved for a new trial, but the trial court denied the motion and entered judgment in accordance with the jury’s verdict. Vaquero appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ruvolo, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 726,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 726,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,700 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.