If the application is granted, the judge of probate must appoint three citizens of the county in which the lands sought to be condemned are situated, who shall possess the qualifications of jurors, who shall be disinterested and who shall be required to file a certificate along with their award that neither of them had ever been consulted, advised with or approached by any person in reference to the value of the lands or the proceedings to condemn the same, prior to the assessment of the damages, and that they knew nothing of the same before their appointment. The judge of probate is authorized to fill any vacancy occasioned by the death, resignation, failure to act or any disqualification of any such commissioners from interest, prior knowledge of the subject matter or by being consulted, advised with or approached in reference to the condemnation of such lands prior to appointment or to the assessment of damages. When the court shall have appointed the commissioners as herein provided, it shall at once issue a notice of such appointment to the sheriff, whose duty it shall be to serve such notice upon the person therein designated within five days of the receipt thereof, and the sheriff shall receive the same compensation for serving such notice as allowed for summoning jurors. It shall be the duty of the commissioners, or a majority of them, thus appointed by the judge of probate to assess the damages and compensation to which the owner of the land is entitled, and they shall be sworn as jurors are sworn. The commissioners may view the lands to be subjected and must receive all legal evidence that may be offered by either party touching the amount of the damages the owner of the lands will sustain and the amount of compensation he is entitled to receive. The amount of compensation to which the owner is entitled must not be reduced or diminished because of any incidental benefits which may accrue to him or to his remaining lands in consequence of the uses to which the lands proposed to be taken or in which an easement is proposed to be acquired will be appropriated. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any applicant for the condemnation of land or any landowner whose land is sought to be condemned from being present in person or by attorney at any of the proceedings or trials provided for in this chapter.
Last modified: May 3, 2021