Summary of the Introduced Bill

HB 1944 -- Eminent Domain

Sponsor:  Hobbs

This bill changes the laws regarding the use of eminent domain.
The power of eminent domain will be vested in governmental
entities or agencies whose governing body is elected or appointed
by elected officials, private utility companies, public
utilities, rural electric cooperatives, municipally owned
utilities, pipelines, railroads, and common carriers.  In its
main provisions, the bill specifies that:

(1)  Private property may only be taken through the use of
eminent domain after determining blight of the property or that
the taking is for a public use and not without just compensation.
Compensation will be determined by considering the comparable
sales in the area, appraisal value of similar property taken by
condemnation, term of ownership of the property by the current
property owner, current use of the property, availability of
comparable property in the area, anticipated profits of the
acquiring entity that results from the acquisition, and any other
relevant factors;

(2)  Vacant land that has never been developed and farmland will
not be determined to be blighted;

(3)  At least 30 days prior to initiating negotiations to acquire
a property interest, the condemning authority must give actual
notification to the owner of record of its intent, the property
interest to be acquired, the purpose for which the property is
being condemned, the right of the property owner to obtain legal
counsel, an appraisal paid for by the condemning authority, a
judicial determination regarding the propriety of the
condemnation, the amounts of the proposed compensation for the
property, and the right to have these issues decided by a jury.
The property owner may employ an appraiser to appraise the
property to be acquired within 60 days upon receipt of the
notice.  Projects which are comprised of five or fewer parcels of
property, less than 50 acres, or are solely for easements are
exempt from the notification requirements.  A written offer must
be presented to the property owners of record at least 30 days
before filing a condemnation petition;

(4)  Before a condemning authority may proceed with condemnation,
there must be a court determination that proper and timely notice
was given to all property owners, an initial offer no lower than
the appraisal amount was given, and that the landowner was given
an opportunity to obtain his or her own appraisal at the
condemning authority's expense.  If any of these events do not
occur, the condemnation petition will go no further;

(5)  The court may order payment of the landowner's legal fees
and expenses and award damages to the property owner if the
condemning authority abandons condemnation prior to the final
judgment of the court;

(6)  Unless it is a total taking, a landowner may propose an
alternative location on his or her property which must be
considered by the condemning authority;

(7)  No condemning authority will acquire private property
through the process of eminent domain for solely economic

(8)  The condemning authority must determine that each parcel of
property located in a redevelopment plan is blighted.  A
condemnation petition must be filed within five years of this
determination.  If no petition is filed within the five-year
period or if any parcel of property is determined not to be
blighted, the authority to condemn will expire;

(9)  Property interests acquired through eminent domain by
private utility companies, public utilities, rural electric
cooperatives, municipally owned utilities, or common carriers are
fixed and determined by the particular use for which the property
was acquired.  Any expanded use of the property will require
additional eminent domain proceedings to acquire the additional

(10)  Any easements that are acquired after the effective date of
the bill and are no longer used for the original acquired purpose
or have not been used by the easement holder for 10 continuous
years will be deemed abandoned or vacated.  Abandonment or
vacation will result in the reversion of the easement to the
owner of record, unless the owner waives the reversion in

(11)  An Office of Ombudsman will be established in the Office of
the Governor to assist citizens seeking information regarding the
condemnation process and procedures; and

(12)  Any financial gain to the property owner arising from a
condemnation action will be deducted from the taxpayer's federal
adjusted gross income.

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives
93rd General Assembly, 2nd Regular Session
Last Updated November 29, 2006 at 9:45 am