This section is from the book "Practical Real Estate Methods For Broker, Operator & Owner", by Thirty Experts. Also available from Amazon: Practical Real Estate Methods for Broker, Operator, Owner.
The following data as to the methods of condemnation in other States of the United States and in many foreign countries have been compiled with a view to supplying information to those interested in legislative improvement of condemnation practice.
Private individuals and corporations obtain right of eminent domain in Maine by an act of the Legislature granted to them specifically. Towns may take lands for highways under a general statute, and disputes as to damages are settled by the County Commissioners' Court.
The usual method employed in Maryland is for proceedings to be taken in any of the courts and a jury impanelled to hear evidence and fix upon the price to be paid.
Private property may be taken for any public improvement in Michigan. The City Attorney institutes the proceedings before a Probate Court and a jury. The jury hears evidence; views the place of improvement, and makes the award and provision for payment of all mortgages on the property. Should the first jury disagree another is impanelled. Any party aggrieved by the judgment of confirmation may, within ten days after entry, appeal to the Circuit Court. Within one year after the confirmation of the verdict of the jury, or after the judgment of confirmation shall on appeal be confirmed, the counsel shall set apart and provide in the Treasury the amount of compensation to the owner or owners as awarded by the said verdict.
Property is acquired in Montana by private purchase, but if no agreement can be reached, application may be made to the Court. The Court appoints a commission of three persons who fix the price, which can then be accepted. If rejected by either party, the case goes directly to the Court, and a jury of twelve decides what the compensation shall be.
If the trustees of any State institution in Connecticut need more land, they have the power to purchase it, if possible, at private sale. If they cannot agree with the owner on a price they make application to the Superior Court, and three disinterested men are appointed as a committee. They view the property and make a report to the Court. If the report is not satisfactory, another committee of three is appointed. If the report is accepted, it is considered as judgment for the owner for the amount of the assessment made by the committee. The property, however, cannot be used or enclosed until the amount of the assessment is paid to the owner.
Property is condemned in Idaho for public purposes only by a suit, instituted by the party seeking to obtain it, in the district court of the district in which the property is situated. The amount of remuneration is left to a jury. In certain cases a board of commissioners may be appointed by the court to assess the damages sustained, and their determination of the amount of damages may be accepted as final by the parties to the action.
The right of condemnation in North Carolina is granted to bridge companies, canal companies, electric companies, mill owners (limited), plankroad companies, railroad companies for right of way or to construct union depots, street railway companies, telegraph and telephone companies, and turnpike companies.
The selectmen of a town in Vermont determine the portion of lands required for a public purpose and thereupon appoint a time and place for hearing upon the question whether such lands are required for such purpose. Notice of this hearing is given to all persons interested, either personally or by written notice. At a hearing, the selectmen ascertain the damages sustained by such interested persons through the taking of such land. The damages are then tendered to such persons. An appeal usually lies from the decisions of the Board of Selectmen to the County Court, both upon the question of the necessity for taking such lands and also upon the question of damages. The County Court thereupon usually appoints commissioners to sit in the premises. When the commissioners file their report, the Court passes judgment thereon as it deems right. Sometimes, special provision is made for the reference of a question of damages to one or more disinterested persons or to a justice of peace, who may thereupon appoint commissioners to appraise damages.
In the condemnation of property in Washington much can be done by a common carrier, or some corporation that has a public or quasi-public function. Otherwise, on general principles, property cannot be condemned. For instance, a railroad, to be able to condemn property, must be a common carrier, and not a private road of any kind. To condemn property, an action in court must be brought where the parties cannot agree. If they do not agree that the trial judge shall settle the price, a jury must be called to do it.