Protecting Landowners’ Rights In Special Commissioners’ Hearings
Every statutory condemnation case must go through an administrative phase in which disinterested landowners in the county are appointed as Special Commissioners to assess the market value based on evidence presented by both sides in an informal hearing.
The attorneys at McFarland PLLC have guided hundreds of landowners through Special Commissioners’ hearings and other aspects of condemnation proceedings.
What Happens At The Hearing?
The hearing allows each side to explain its position and expose the weaknesses of its opponent’s position to a panel of disinterested decision-makers. After hearing the evidence and receiving the award, the parties are in a much better position to evaluate their respective positions and consider settlement. Many cases are resolved following the administrative phase. However, either side may appeal the award, at which point the case proceeds as any other civil case on the court’s docket.
Who Are Special Commissioners?
The special commissioners are three landowners with no interest in the condemnation. They are appointed by a judge. Each party is given time to strike one of the commissioners if that party feels the commissioner is in some way not qualified to render a fair and impartial decision.
In making their determination, the special commissioners take into account:
- The market value of the condemned property
- Any reduction or increase in property value caused by the condemnation
- The condemning entity’s plans for the property
The Importance Of Legal Counsel
Because these administrative hearings represent a landowner’s best early opportunity to maximize compensation, it is very important you have an experienced attorney protecting your interests. It is an evidentiary and contested hearing, so the State condemning authority is at an extreme advantage if you are not represented.
The Strong Ally You Need For Important Hearings
Our attorneys are here to protect your rights during all aspects of a condemnation action, including the Special Commissioners’ hearing. To arrange a legal consultation with an experienced eminent domain lawyer in Texas, contact our law offices online or by telephone at 844-877-9190.