from the Superior Court in Pima County No. C20151377 The
Honorable Catherine Woods, Judge
Jennings, Strouss & Salmon P.L.C., Tucson By John J.
Egbert and Danielle J.K. Constant Counsel for
& Schubart P.C., Tucson By Thomas M. Parsons Counsel for
Eppich authored the opinion of the Court, in which Presiding
Judge Vásquez and Judge Espinosa concurred.
In this eminent domain case, Cheryl Tanno and the estate of
Pasquale Tanno appeal from a final judgment awarding them
$365, 910 in compensation for real property condemned by the
City of Tucson. They argue the trial court committed error in
making evidentiary determinations, refusing to tender certain
jury instructions, and declining to award sanctions for a
purported discovery violation. For the reasons that follow,
and Procedural Background
In 2015, the City of Tucson filed an eminent domain complaint
in superior court seeking to condemn a parcel of real
property owned by the Tannos. The city sought to acquire the
property for the development of the "Downtown
Links," a proposed roadway project it asserted was for
public use. In response, the Tannos requested a determination
of the value of the condemned property and a jury trial.
After the conclusion of discovery, the city filed several
motions in limine seeking to exclude portions of expert
testimony disclosed by the Tannos, portions of Cheryl's
testimony regarding the value of her property, and evidence
relating to certain legal theories advanced by the Tannos.
After conducting three hearings, the trial court granted the
majority of the city's motions.
The case proceeded to a jury trial, where the sole issue was
the value of the Tanno property. At trial, the court
reaffirmed its prior evidentiary rulings, in some instances
considering more evidence than was available at the time of
its pretrial rulings. The jury returned a verdict in favor of
the Tannos, awarding them $365, 910 for the fair market value
of the property. The trial court issued a final, appealable
judgment based on the jury's verdict. We have
jurisdiction pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-2101(A)(1).
In Arizona, the state, a county, city, town, village,
political subdivision, or person, may exercise the right of
eminent domain to acquire property for public use.
See A.R.S. § 12-1111. Pursuant to our
constitution, however, a property owner is entitled to just
compensation for land taken by eminent domain. Ariz. Const.
art. II, § 17. "Just compensation is the amount of
money necessary to put the property owner in as good a
financial position as if the property had not been
taken." City of Phoenix v. Wilson, 200 Ariz. 2,
¶ 8 (2001). Further, "[t]he value of land taken by
eminent domain in Arizona is to be determined by the market
value of the property: by what a willing buyer would pay for
the property and what a willing seller would take."
State ex rel. Ordway v. Buchanan, 154 Ariz. 159, 162
(1987). The market value of the property is set as of the day
of the summons. A.R.S. § 12-1123(A).
The Tannos argue the trial court committed several errors
that prevented them from receiving just compensation for
their property. Their arguments largely stem from the
court's decision not to admit certain evidence, which the
Tannos contend would have shown the property's value.
"A trial court has broad discretion in the admission of
evidence, and we will not disturb its decision absent an
abuse of that discretion and resulting prejudice."
Crackel v. Allstate Ins. Co., 208 Ariz. 252, ¶
59 (App. 2004). "To test whether a trial court has
abused its discretion, we must determine not whether we might
have so acted under the circumstances, but whether the lower
court exceeded the bounds of reason by performing the
challenged act." Toy v. Katz, 192 Ariz. 73, 83
(App. 1997). "It is well established law in Arizona that
appellate courts will not disturb the exercise of discretion
of the trial court if it is supported by any reasonable
evidence." Peters v. M & O Constr., Inc.,
119 Ariz. 34, 36 (App. 1978).