In a sweeping move aimed at assuming ownership of land for the proposed Santa Ana Auto Mall, the city has filed seven eminent domain lawsuits against six property owners.
Six of the suits were filed Thursday, the seventh on Friday.
The suits seek to exercise the city's right to acquire property through condemnation. The city has put on deposit about $2 million to cover the cost of the land purchases, deputy City Atty. Robert Wheeler said.
A legal battle could arise over two of the properties. Last month, property owners Oris and Dorothy Matkin filed a suit against the city in an effort to ward off the takeover attempt.
That suit has not yet been served on the city, Wheeler said. Attorneys for the Matkins were unavailable for comment Friday.