Private property matters

S.E.A. 340, P.L. 80
Effective: July 1, 2020

  • Requires a conveyance, a mortgage, or an instrument of writing to be recorded to be: (1) acknowledged by the grantor; and (2) proven before certain specified individuals; in certain instances.
  • Requires the summons accompanying a complaint for condemnation to include language regarding the defendant’s right to object to the condemnation within 30 days from the date notice is served.
  • Requires a court to award reasonable costs and attorney’s fees to a defendant whose objection to a complaint for condemnation is sustained. Caps the amount of attorney’s fees a court may award if an objection to a condemnation is sustained at $25,000. Exempts a condemnation action brought by a public utility or by a pipeline company from the bill’s provisions requiring a court to award a defendant in a condemnation action the defendant’s reasonable costs and attorney’s fees if the defendant’s objections to the proceedings are sustained in the proceedings or upon appeal.
  • Requires a municipality to provide notice by mail to affected owners, both residents and nonresidents of the municipality, of a condemnation. Permits an affected owner to file an objection that a municipality does not have the right to exercise the power of eminent domain for the use sought. Amends the time for a remonstrance hearing for a municipal condemnation and the defendant’s right to judicial review of the decision made at the hearing to 30 days. Current law requires a remonstrance hearing to be set no less than 10 days after notice and the defendant to appeal the decision within 20 days.
  • Provides parties the right to appeal a court’s judgment in the judicial review of a municipal condemnation.
  • Revises the statute allowing a municipality to condemn property for economic development to require a 3/4 affirmative vote of the municipality’s legislative body to exercise the power of eminent domain. Current law requires a 2/3 affirmative vote of the municipality’s legislative body.
  • Allows a property owner to challenge a condemnation for economic development purposes by providing clear and convincing evidence that the owner’s parcel is not necessary for the project.

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