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Code of Alabama - Title 18: Eminent Domain - Chapter 1A - Eminent Domain Generally

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  • Article 1 General Provisions and Definitions.
    • Section 18-1A-1 Short title
      This chapter may be cited as the "Alabama Eminent Domain Code." ...
    • Section 18-1A-2 Scope of chapter
      (a) This chapter provides standards for the acquisition of property by condemnors, the conduct of condemnation actions, and the determination of just compensation. It ...
    • Section 18-1A-3 Definitions
      As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings, respectively, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise: (1) ACTION. Condemnation action. ...
    • Section 18-1A-4 Compromise or settlement between parties
      At any time before or after commencement of an action, the parties may agree to and carry out according to its terms a compromise ...
    • Section 18-1A-5 Compliance with requirements for federal financial assistance
      Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, a condemnor may comply with any federal statute, regulation, or policy prescribing a condition precedent to the availability ...
  • Article 2 Policies Governing Land Acquisition.
    • Section 18-1A-20 Application of article
      (a) In order to encourage and expedite the acquisition of property by agreement, to avoid litigation and relieve congestion in the courts, to assure ...
    • Section 18-1A-21 Appraisal
      Before commencing a condemnation action, the condemnor shall cause the property to be appraised to determine the amount that would constitute just compensation for ...
    • Section 18-1A-22 Offer to purchase at full appraised value; changes in fair market value caused by project or likelihood of acquiring property therefor to be disregarded; reduction in compensation based on benefits which may accrue from use of acquired property; written statement of basis for amount of compensation
      (a) Before commencing a condemnation action, the condemnor shall establish an amount based on an appraisal which it believes to be just compensation therefor ...
    • Section 18-1A-23 Payment or deposit before surrender of possession
      An owner shall not be required to surrender possession of property before the condemnor: (1) Pays the agreed purchase price; or (2) Pays, or ...
    • Section 18-1A-24 Notice to terminate occupancy
      Except in an emergency, a condemnor may not require a person lawfully occupying property to move from a dwelling, nor to move his business ...
    • Section 18-1A-25 Rental to former owner or tenant after property acquired
      If a condemnor, after acquiring property, rents all or part of the property to the former owner or tenant for a short term or ...
    • Section 18-1A-26 Coercive action forbidden
      In order to compel an agreement on the price to be paid for the property, a condemnor may not arbitrarily advance the time of ...
    • Section 18-1A-27 Offer to acquire uneconomic remnant
      (a) If the acquisition of only part of a property would leave its owner with an uneconomic remnant, the condemnor shall offer to acquire ...
    • Section 18-1A-28 Acquisition of improvements to be removed or adversely affected
      A condemnor that acquires any interest in real property shall also acquire at least an equal interest in all buildings, structures, or other improvements ...
    • Section 18-1A-29 Compensation for tenant-owned improvements
      (a) If a building, structure, or other improvement to be acquired by a condemnor under Section 18-1A-28 is owned by a tenant: (1) It ...
    • Section 18-1A-30 Expenses incidental to transfer of title; interest on award
      (a) As soon as practicable after payment of the purchase price, or payment of, or deposit in probate court, of funds to satisfy the ...
    • Section 18-1A-31 Waiver of failure to comply with Sections 18-1A-20 through 18-1A-30
      If not inconsistent with the requirements of an applicable statute or regulation, a failure to satisfy the requirements or limitations imposed under Sections 18-1A-20 ...
    • Section 18-1A-32 Condemnation action required; inverse condemnation
      (a) If property is to be acquired by a condemnor through the exercise of its power of eminent domain, the condemnor shall commence a ...
    • Section 18-1A-33 Noncompliance with article does not affect validity of condemnor's interest; construction of article with federal law as to financial assistance
      (a) A failure to satisfy the requirements or limitations of Sections 18-1A-20 through 18-1A-32 does not affect the validity of the condemnor's interest in ...
  • Article 3 Proceedings Before Action.
    • Section 18-1A-50 Entry upon property for suitability studies
      (a) A condemnor and its agents and employees may enter upon real property for a reasonable time and make surveys, examinations, photographs, tests, soundings, ...
    • Section 18-1A-51 Court order permitting entry
      (a) If reasonable efforts to accomplish a lawful entry or to perform authorized activities upon real property under Section 18-1A-50 have been obstructed or ...
    • Section 18-1A-52 Bond for damages caused by entry
      (a) An order permitting entry under Section 18-1A-51 shall include a preliminary assessment by the circuit court of the probable amount that will fairly ...
    • Section 18-1A-53 Modification of court order permitting entry
      (a) After notice and hearing, the circuit court may modify an order made under Section 18-1A-51. (b) If a bond is required or the ...
    • Section 18-1A-54 Proceeding or action to recover damages caused by entry; payment of damages
      (a) A condemnor is liable for physical injury to, and for substantial interference with possession or use of, property caused by his entry and ...
    • Section 18-1A-55 Offer to purchase as prerequisite to condemnation action
      An action to condemn property may not be maintained over timely objection by the owner unless the condemnor has offered to acquire the property ...
  • Article 4 Commencement of Action by Condemnor.
    • Section 18-1A-70 Procedure generally
      The procedure for condemnation of property under the power of eminent domain is governed by the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure except as otherwise ...
    • Section 18-1A-71 Commencement of condemnation action; venue
      A condemnation action is commenced by filing a complaint for condemnation with the probate court in the county in which the property or any ...
    • Section 18-1A-72 Contents of complaint; property already subject to public use; easement to cross line of another railroad; map or diagram to accompany complaint
      (a) In addition to other allegations required or permitted by law, the complaint shall: (1) Designate as a plaintiff each person on whose behalf ...
    • Section 18-1A-73 Joinder of lands in same county in same complaint; separate hearing for each owner
      (a) Where there are several tracts of land lying within one county of which portions are proposed to be taken, or in which an ...
    • Section 18-1A-74 Service of process
      (a) On the filing of the complaint, the probate court must enter an order appointing a day for the hearing thereof and must issue ...
    • Section 18-1A-75 Recording notice of pending action; amendment of complaint after notice filed; notice of dismissal
      (a) After commencement of a condemnation action, the plaintiff shall cause a notice of the pendency of the proceedings to be recorded in the ...
  • Article 5 Defendant's Response.
    • Section 18-1A-90 When answer required; disclaimer where no interest claimed
      The defendant may respond by answer but is not required to do so unless defendant challenges the right to condemn or questions or disputes ...
    • Section 18-1A-91 Contents of answer; preliminary objections
      (a) In addition to other matters required or permitted by law, a defendant may state in an answer: (1) The nature and extent of ...
    • Section 18-1A-92 Disclaimer
      (a) A disclaimer need not be in any particular form, shall be signed by the defendant or his attorney, and shall contain a statement ...
    • Section 18-1A-93 Hearing on preliminary objections
      Preliminary objections shall be heard and determined by the probate court on the court's own motion, or on notice and motion by a party, ...
    • Section 18-1A-94 Burden of proof at hearing on preliminary objections
      (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), the plaintiff has the burden of proof on all issues of fact raised in connection with a ...
    • Section 18-1A-95 Disposition of preliminary objections; award of litigation expenses to defendant
      (a) If the probate court determines that a preliminary objection is meritorious, the court shall make an appropriate order including: (1) Dismissal of the ...
  • Article 6 Deposit and Possession Prior to Judgment.
    • Section 18-1A-110 Motion for withdrawal of deposited funds before judgment
      At any time after payment of the award and before entry of judgment, the defendant by motion may withdraw the amount of the condemnor's ...
    • Section 18-1A-111 Investment of deposit; allocation of interest
      Upon motion of a party at any time after a deposit has been made, the court shall direct that the money not withdrawn be ...
  • Article 7 Proceedings Before Trial.
    • Section 18-1A-130 Discovery and pretrial conferences
      Discovery and pretrial conferences in condemnation actions in the circuit court are governed by the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure. Nothing in this section ...
    • Section 18-1A-131 Admissibility of evidence; permissible basis for witness' opinion
      This article does not make admissible any evidence not otherwise admissible nor permit a witness to base an opinion on any matter not a ...
  • Article 9 Procedure for Determining Just Compensation.
    • Section 18-1A-150 Setting for trial; separate trial of nonjury issues
      (a) To the extent practicable, actions under this chapter shall be heard and tried in advance of other civil actions. (b) The circuit court ...
    • Section 18-1A-151 Demand for trial by jury; waiver; procedure for jury selection, etc
      (a) In the circuit court the amount of compensation and any additional issue for which the right to trial by jury is secured by ...
    • Section 18-1A-152 Order of arguments and presentation of evidence
      The plaintiff shall make the first opening statement, proceed first in the presentation of evidence on the issues of the amount of compensation, and ...
    • Section 18-1A-153 Burden of proof
      No party has the burden of proof on the issue of the amount of compensation. ...
    • Section 18-1A-154 Separation of issues of compensation and apportionment
      The circuit court or jury shall first determine the total compensation as between the plaintiff and all defendants claiming an interest in the property. ...
  • Article 10 Compensation.
    • Section 18-1A-170 Compensation standards; valuation in case of partial taking
      (a) An owner of property acquired by eminent domain is entitled to compensation determined under the standards prescribed in this article. (b) If there ...
    • Section 18-1A-171 Reduction of compensation award because of incidental benefits from taking
      The amount of compensation to which the owners and other parties interested therein are entitled must not be reduced or diminished because of any ...
    • Section 18-1A-172 Fair market value defined
      The fair market value as used in this chapter shall be defined as the price the property would bring when offered for sale by ...
    • Section 18-1A-173 Effect of condemnation action on value; valuation of second taking; decrease in value due to owner's neglect
      (a) The fair market value of the property does not include an increase or decrease in value before the date of valuation that is ...
    • Section 18-1A-174 Highest and best use, a jury issue
      Anything in this article to the contrary notwithstanding, the highest and best use of the property sought to be acquired shall be determined by ...
  • Article 11 Evidence in Condemnation Actions.
    • Section 18-1A-190 Scope of article
      (a) Actions under this chapter are governed by the rules of evidence applicable in other civil actions and as supplemented by this article. (b) ...
    • Section 18-1A-191 View of the property taken
      (a) Upon motion of a party or its own motion, the circuit court may direct the jury to be placed in charge of an ...
    • Section 18-1A-192 Opinion evidence as to value
      (a) Upon proper foundation, opinion evidence as to the value of property may be given in evidence only by one or more of the ...
    • Section 18-1A-193 Evidence supporting opinion as to value
      For the purpose of supporting an opinion as to the value of property, evidence may be received relating but not limited to the following ...
    • Section 18-1A-194 Evidence supporting opinion as to remainder value in partial taking
      For the purpose of supporting an opinion as to the value of a remainder after a partial taking, evidence may be received relating but ...
    • Section 18-1A-195 Opinion of owner as to value
      The owner may consider any nonconjectural matters in forming his opinion as to the fair market value of his property. ...
    • Section 18-1A-196 Basis for opinion as to value
      As a basis for an opinion as to value, a valuation witness qualified under subsection (a) of Section 18-1A-192 may consider, inter alia: (1) ...
    • Section 18-1A-197 Factors upon which opinion as to value may not be based
      Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 18-1A-192 to 18-1A-196(5), the following factors are not admissible as a basis for an opinion as to the value ...
  • Article 12 Judgment and Postjudgment Procedure.
    • Section 18-1A-210 Contents of judgment
      The judgment shall: (1) Describe the property condemned and declare the right of the plaintiff to take it by eminent domain; (2) Recite the ...
    • Section 18-1A-211 Interest on compensation awarded
      (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), the judgment shall include interest at a rate equal to the most recent weekly average one-year constant ...
    • Section 18-1A-212 Crediting amounts paid or withdrawn from deposited funds
      (a) The judgment shall credit against the total amount awarded to the defendant any payments made before the date of entry of the judgment ...
    • Section 18-1A-213 Performance of work to reduce amount of award
      (a) If the probate court finds that the plaintiff and defendant have entered into a written agreement under which the plaintiff has completed, or ...
    • Section 18-1A-214 Payment of judgment by plaintiff; deduction of taxes from award
      (a) Within the time prescribed by Section 18-1A-290, the plaintiff shall pay the full amount required by the judgment after crediting all amounts withdrawn ...
    • Section 18-1A-215 Effect of failure to pay judgment
      (a) If the plaintiff fails to make full payment of the judgment, or of the full amount awarded for any separate item or parcel ...
    • Section 18-1A-216 Payment after judgment from funds deposited with court
      After the entry of the judgment of condemnation, the defendant by motion may withdraw the amount of the condemnor's approved offer. The motion shall ...
  • Article 13 Dismissal and Abandonment.
    • Section 18-1A-230 Involuntary dismissal
      On motion of the defendant, the court shall dismiss the action in whole or in part, as justice requires, if: (1) Upon sustaining a ...
    • Section 18-1A-231 Voluntary dismissal
      The court may dismiss the action in whole or in part upon motion of the plaintiff at any time prior to payment of the ...
    • Section 18-1A-232 Award of litigation expenses
      (a) The court shall award the defendant his litigation expenses, in addition to any other amounts authorized by law, if the action is wholly ...
    • Section 18-1A-233 Restitution of property and damages
      If the action is dismissed for any reason, and the defendant has vacated the property under an order of possession or in reasonable contemplation ...
  • Article 15 Arbitration of Compensation.
    • Section 18-1A-250 Arbitration of compensation authorized; noncompliance with Articles 2 and 3
      (a) A condemnor and a condemnee or two or more condemnees may enter into and comply with the terms of an agreement in conformity ...
    • Section 18-1A-251 Enforceability of agreement
      Except as specifically provided in this article, an agreement to arbitrate under Section 18-1A-250 has the same effect, and an arbitration thereunder may be ...
    • Section 18-1A-252 When agreement may be made; effect on right to commence condemnation action
      An arbitration agreement under this article may be made and carried into effect either before or after a condemnation action has been commenced. The ...
    • Section 18-1A-253 Effect of pending condemnation action
      If a condemnation action has been commenced and is pending between the parties to an arbitration agreement under this article: (1) A petition, motion, ...
    • Section 18-1A-254 Absence of concurrent condemnation action
      In the absence of a pending condemnation action relating to the property, a petition, motion, or other proceeding initiated in connection with arbitration pursuant ...
    • Section 18-1A-255 Arbitration procedure
      Unless the arbitration agreement provides otherwise, the conduct of the arbitration shall be subject to the following rules: (1) The locale for the arbitration ...
    • Section 18-1A-256 Abandonment of acquisition
      (a) Subject to the requirements of subsection (b), an arbitration under this article may specify the terms and conditions, if any, under which the ...
    • Section 18-1A-257 Recordation of agreement
      (a) An agreement under this article, or a memorandum summarizing its terms and describing the subject property, after being executed and acknowledged by the ...
  • Article 16 Miscellaneous.
    • Section 18-1A-270 Application to probate court for order of condemnation; bond or security and affidavit not required of state or counties; authority from Governor to bring suit
      The State of Alabama, or any county, municipality, the University of Alabama, Auburn University, the University of Montevallo or any corporation organized under the ...
    • Section 18-1A-271 Acquisition of lands, etc., for state prison system
      The Governor may cause proceedings to be instituted in the name of the State of Alabama for the acquirement by condemnation of any lands, ...
    • Section 18-1A-272 Acquisition of easements for connecting lines by foreign telegraph or telephone companies
      A telegraph or telephone company, incorporated under the laws of another state, proposing to extend connecting lines into this state, may acquire an easement ...
    • Section 18-1A-274 Acquisition of lands, etc., for viaducts and subways by railroad companies, etc., within municipalities
      Railroad companies and street railway companies may jointly or severally construct viaducts and subways in any municipality in this state by and with the ...
    • Section 18-1A-273 Acquisition of easements for crossings by railroads, etc
      Any corporation, person, or association of persons owning a railroad or street railroad in this state and proposing to cross or intersect the line ...
    • Section 18-1A-275 Guardian ad litem for infants or incompetents
      If the owner of the lands or other party interested therein is an infant or is of unsound mind, the probate court, on the ...
    • Section 18-1A-276 Hearing; order granting or refusing complaint
      The probate court shall conduct a hearing within 45 days after the filing of the complaint at which, on the day appointed, or any ...
    • Section 18-1A-277 Hearing to be conducted as in civil cases
      The hearing provided for in this chapter must in all respects be conducted and evidence taken as in civil cases at law, except as ...
    • Section 18-1A-278 Who may appear at proceedings and trials
      Any person interested in the proceeding may be present in person or by attorney at any of the proceedings or trials provided for in ...
    • Section 18-1A-279 Commissioners - Appointment; qualifications; certificate; vacancies
      If the complaint be granted, in whole or in part, within 10 days after the complaint is granted, the judge of probate must appoint ...
    • Section 18-1A-280 Commissioners - Service of notice of appointment
      When the probate court shall have appointed the commissioners as provided in this chapter, it shall immediately issue notice of the appointment to the ...
    • Section 18-1A-281 Commissioners - Assessment of damages and compensation; view; hearing
      The commissioners thus appointed, or a majority of them, shall assess separately the damages and compensation to which the several owners and other parties ...
    • Section 18-1A-282 Commissioners to report assessment; issuance of order of condemnation upon deposit in court or payment of damages, etc., assessed; notice of order
      The commissioners must, within 20 days from their appointment, make a report in writing to the probate court stating the amount of damages and ...
    • Section 18-1A-283 Appeal from order of condemnation
      Any of the parties may appeal from the order of condemnation to the circuit court of the county within 30 days from the making ...
    • Section 18-1A-284 Judgment not suspended by appeal if damages paid into probate court and bond given
      No appeal shall suspend the judgment or deprive the applicant of the right of entry, provided the amount of the damages assessed for the ...
    • Section 18-1A-285 Separate bonds required in case of joint appeals
      In case more than one party appeals or appeal is taken against more than one, there shall be separate bonds given for each tract ...
    • Section 18-1A-286 Appeal to circuit court upon denial of application by probate court
      If the probate court refuses to grant the application, the applicant shall have a right of appeal to the circuit court upon giving security ...
    • Section 18-1A-287 Order of condemnation on appeal
      Upon the payment of the damages so assessed to the owner or other party interested therein and the payment of costs of suit into ...
    • Section 18-1A-288 Appeal from final judgment of circuit court
      After entry of final judgment in the circuit court, any party may, within 42 days thereafter, upon giving bond or security for costs as ...
    • Section 18-1A-289 Effect of order of condemnation; right of entry, etc., pending appeal upon deposit of damages, compensation, and costs; effect of appeal upon condemnation order
      The order of condemnation, upon the payment of the sum ascertained and assessed by the verdict of the circuit court, or the bond thereof ...
    • Section 18-1A-290 Time for payment of damages and compensation; effect of failure to pay damages
      The condemnor may pay the damages and compensation assessed at any time within 90 days after the assessment thereof, or, in case an appeal ...
    • Section 18-1A-291 Distribution of award - Filing of claims by owners or parties; determination of claims by probate court
      Any one of the owners or parties alleged in the complaint to own or hold any claim, interest or title in the lands sought ...
    • Section 18-1A-292 Distribution of award - Proceedings when claims not filed and court doubtful as to proper distribution; assertion of adverse claim or title involving determination of title to land
      The probate court may, in the event no such claims are filed by any of such parties and where the probate court is doubtful ...
    • Section 18-1A-293 Costs
      The costs of the complaint and proceedings thereunder up to and through the entry of final judgment, including the compensation of commissioners, must be ...
    • Section 18-1A-294 Probate court deemed open at all times
      The court of probate must be deemed always open for the filing and trial of all applications made under this chapter. ...
    • Section 18-1A-295 Use of condemnation proceedings by institutions of higher learning
      (a) Whenever any institution of higher learning created by legislative act or by the state constitution and whose governing boards' powers are derived by ...
  • Article 17 Effective Date and Repealer.
    • Section 18-1A-310 Inconsistent provisions in other laws superseded
      Insofar as the provisions of this chapter are inconsistent with the provisions of any other law, general or special, the provisions of this chapter ...
    • Section 18-1A-311 Application
      (a) Articles 1 through 5 of this chapter apply only to condemnation actions commenced on or after January 1, 1986. (b) Article 1 and ...

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    Last modified: March 18, 2014