In this video, Attorney Philip Hundl describes Step 9 of his timeline of the Texas Land Condemnation Process. You can arrange a meeting with Philip by calling or texting 800-266-4870. We can arrange a meeting in person, online or by phone.
Summary of Step 9 of the Texas Land Condemnation Process
Hi, Phil Hundl here. We are continuing our video series on the condemnation timeline or steps. We are talking about Step 9, which was the Special Commissioner’s hearing. It’s important for landowners to be present at this hearing, or at least have a corporate representative or authorized representative of the owner present to speak towards the value of the property and provide important details and characteristics of the property to the Special Commissioners. The Special Commissioners are responsible for assessing the actual damages to the property owner from the condemnation.
The basis for assessing these damages is set out in the Texas Property Code Sections 21.041, 21.042, 21.043, and 21.044. These sections require the Special Commissioners to admit evidence on the value of the property being condemned, the injury to the property owner, the benefit to the property owner’s remaining property, and the use of the property for the purpose of condemnation. The benefit to the property owner’s remaining property also refers to the damage to the remainder of the property due to the condemnation.
The Assessment of Damages in Step 9 Includes Multiple Factors
Assessment of damages includes the value of the property being taken, any additional damages, also known as cost to cure, and the damage to the remainder of the property. Special Commissioners will also evaluate damages from temporary workspaces, which may be used by the condemnor for a limited time period before the land reverts back to the owner. The landowner is entitled to compensation for any damages incurred during this temporary period.
Procedure of the Special Commissioners’ Hearing
During the Special Commissioner’s hearing, each attorney will give a brief opening statement before the condemnor puts on their case. This typically involves a representative from the condemnor, their appraiser, and possibly other witnesses who can testify about the valuation. The landowner’s attorney will then give a brief opening statement before the landowner puts on their case. The landowner has the right to cross-examine each witness presented by the condemnor.
The landowner can also put on their own case, including presenting their appraiser or other experts to speak to the cost to cure damages or tree damages. In Texas, the landowner can speak to the value of their property and give their own opinion on its worth. This is known as the property owner rule.
The Special Commissioners will not be rewriting the easement agreement or petition of the condemnor, or changing what’s being taken. Their role is solely to assess the compensation that should be awarded to the landowner. Each side puts on their witnesses and makes their case, before giving a brief closing statement.
Once the Special Commissioners have heard all the evidence and arguments, they will typically recess before making their decision. In some cases, they will give their decision the same day. The decision must be provided in writing and signed by all the Special Commissioners no later than the next working day after the hearing, as required by the Texas Property Code.
Step 10 Will Cover What Happens After Special Commissioners Issue an Award
Moving forward to Step 10, the next step in this series, we will be discussing what happens after the Special Commissioners issue their award. It’s important for landowners to have an experienced attorney by their side throughout this process to ensure their rights are protected and they receive the full compensation they are entitled to.
In conclusion, the Special Commissioner’s hearing is a crucial step in the condemnation process, where the Special Commissioners are responsible for assessing the damages to the landowner resulting from the condemnation. The landowner’s attorney can present evidence and cross-examine witnesses to ensure a fair and just award is issued. It’s essential for landowners to have an experienced attorney who can guide them through the process and ensure their rights are protected.
Get the Help You Need to Protect Your Rights at the Special Commissioners’ Hearing
If you are a landowner facing condemnation proceedings, it’s important to hire an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and protect your rights. You can arrange a meeting with Philip by calling or texting 800-266-4870. We can arrange a meeting in person, online or by phone.
- Introduction to the Texas Land Condemnation Process Timeline
- Step 1A of the Texas Land Condemnation Process Timeline
- Step 1B of the Texas Land Condemnation Process Timeline
- Step 2 of the Texas Land Condemnation Process Timeline
- Step 3 of the Texas Land Condemnation Process Timeline
- Step 4 of the Texas Land Condemnation Process Timeline
- Step 5 of the Texas Land Condemnation Process Timeline
- Step 6 of the Texas Land Condemnation Process Timeline
- Step 7 of the Texas Land Condemnation Process Timeline
- Step 8 of the Texas Land Condemnation Process Timeline
- Texas Landowners Bill of Rights
- What Happens During a Special Commissioners Hearing
We also have offices in Wharton, Bay City, Richmond and Fulshear. Call or text 800-266-4870 for appointments at any of our offices. We can also arrange for online and telephone appointments all over Texas.