After the condemning entity files a condemnation claim in court, the judge will appoint three local landowners to serve as special commissioners. The judge will give you a reasonable period to strike one of the special commissioners. If a commissioner is struck, the judge will appoint a replacement. These special commissioners must live in the county where the condemnation proceeding is filed, and they must take an oath to assess the amount of adequate compensation fairly, impartially, and according to the law. The special commissioners are not legally authorized to decide whether the condemnation is necessary or if the public use is proper. Their role is limited to assessing adequate compensation for you. After being appointed, the special commissioners must schedule a hearing at the earliest practical time and place. The special commissioners are also required to give you written notice of the condemnation hearing.
You are required to provide the condemning entity any appraisal reports that were used to determine your claim about adequate compensation for the condemned property. Under a new law enacted in 2011, landowners’ appraisal reports must be provided to the condemning entity either ten days after the landowner receives the report or three business days before the special commissioners’ hearing - whichever is earlier. You may hire an appraiser or real estate professional to help you determine the value of your private property. Additionally, you can hire an attorney to represent you during condemnation proceedings.
At the condemnation hearing, the special commissioners will consider your evidence on the value of your condemned property, the damages to remaining property, any value added to the remaining property as a result of the condemnation, and the condemning entity’s proposed use of your condemned property.