[Rev. 11/21/2013 10:55:11 AM--2013]

CHAPTER 340 - EMINENT DOMAIN: EXPEDITIOUS PROCEDURE

NRS 340.010           Short title.

NRS 340.020           Finding and declaration of necessity.

NRS 340.030           Definitions.

NRS 340.040           Filing of petition; jurisdiction of court; entry upon land by petitioner.

NRS 340.050           Form of petition.

NRS 340.060           Inclusion of several parcels.

NRS 340.070           Notice of proceedings.

NRS 340.080           Determination of issue raised by the objections filed.

NRS 340.090           Appointment of special master.

NRS 340.100           Notice of hearing by special master.

NRS 340.110           Evidence admissible before special master.

NRS 340.120           Report of special master.

NRS 340.130           Notice of report.

NRS 340.140           Hearing of objections by the court.

NRS 340.150           Certified copy of judgment.

NRS 340.160           Declaration of taking: Filing; sufficiency; effect; duties of court.

NRS 340.170           Right to withdraw or dismiss petition.

NRS 340.180           Divesting title of owner.

NRS 340.190           Payment of award into court and disbursement thereof.

NRS 340.200           Recovery of award.

NRS 340.210           Appeal.

NRS 340.220           Costs.

NRS 340.230           Powers supplemental.

_________

 

      NRS 340.010  Short title.  This chapter may be referred to as the Public Works Eminent Domain Law.

      [1:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.21]

      NRS 340.020  Finding and declaration of necessity.

      1.  It is hereby declared:

      (a) That widespread unemployment exists throughout the State, making it impossible for many people in the State to support themselves and their families.

      (b) That these conditions create a public emergency and constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals and welfare of the people of the State.

      (c) That it is essential that public works projects, financed in whole or in part by the United States of America or by the State, be commenced as soon as possible in order to reduce and relieve this unemployment and prevent irreparable injury to the people of the State.

      (d) That to this end it is necessary to provide a method for the expeditious acquisition of any lands necessary for such public works projects.

      (e) That such public works projects are hereby declared to be in furtherance of the public welfare and to be public uses and purposes for which public money may be spent and private property acquired.

      (f) That the necessity in the public interest for the provisions enacted in this chapter is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination.

      2.  Without limitation upon the generality of subsection 1, it is hereby declared:

      (a) That insanitary or unsafe dwelling accommodations exist in various areas of the State and that consequently many persons of low income are forced to reside therein.

      (b) That these conditions cause an increase in and spread of disease and crime, constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals and welfare of the citizens of the State, impair economic values, and are not being, and cannot within a reasonable time be, corrected by the investment of private capital available for profit-making enterprises.

      (c) That the clearance, replanning and reconstruction of the areas in which insanitary or unsafe housing conditions exist and the provision of safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations for persons of low income are public uses and purposes for which private property may be acquired.

      [2:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.22]

      NRS 340.030  Definitions.  The following terms whenever used or referred to in this chapter shall have the following respective meanings, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

      1.  “Authorized corporation” means any corporation or association engaged or about to engage in any public works project, as herein defined, for a public use; but the construction of the public works project and its conduct thereafter by the corporation or association shall be subject to regulation or supervision by a federal agency, as herein defined, or a state public body, as herein defined, whether by virtue of an agreement, provision of law or otherwise.

      2.  “Court” means the court in which jurisdiction over proceedings hereunder is vested by the provisions of NRS 340.040.

      3.  “Federal agency” means the United States of America, or any agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States of America.

      4.  “Petitioner” means the one by whom proceedings for the acquisition of real property, as herein defined, are instituted hereunder pursuant to the provisions of NRS 340.040.

      5.  “Public works project” means any work or undertaking which is financed in whole or in part by a federal agency, as herein defined, or by a state public body, as herein defined.

      6.  “Real property” or “property” or “lands” includes all lands, including improvements and fixtures thereon, lands under water, all easements and hereditaments, corporeal or incorporeal, and every estate, interest and right, legal or equitable, in lands or water, and all rights, interests, privileges, easements, encumbrances, and franchises relating to the same, including terms for years and liens by way of judgment, mortgage or otherwise.

      7.  “State public body” means this State or any county, city, town, municipal corporation, authority, or any other subdivision, agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, thereof.

      [3:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.23]

      NRS 340.040  Filing of petition; jurisdiction of court; entry upon land by petitioner.

      1.  Any federal agency, state public body or authorized corporation may institute proceedings under this chapter for the acquisition of any real property necessary for any public works project.

      2.  Such proceedings may be instituted in the district court in any county in which any part of the real property or of the proposed public works project is situate. The court shall cause the proceedings to be heard and determined without delay. All condemnation proceedings shall be preferred cases, and shall be entitled to precedence over all other civil cases.

      3.  The petitioner may enter upon the land proposed to be acquired for the purpose of making a survey and of posting any notice thereon which is required by this chapter; but such survey and posting of notice shall be done in such manner as will cause the least possible inconvenience to the owners of the real property.

      [4:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.24]

      NRS 340.050  Form of petition.  A proceeding may be instituted under this chapter by the filing of a petition which shall be sufficient if it sets forth:

      1.  The name of the petitioner.

      2.  A description of the property, sufficient for the identification thereof, to which there may be attached a plat or map thereof.

      3.  A statement that the acquisition of such property by the petitioner is necessary for a public works project and a brief general description of the public works project.

      4.  A statement that the proceedings are being instituted under this chapter.

      5.  A suitable prayer for relief.

      [5:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.25]

      NRS 340.060  Inclusion of several parcels.  Any number of parcels of land, whether owned by the same or different persons and whether contiguous or not, may be included and condemned in one proceeding if such parcels are to be used for a single public works project.

      [6:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.26]

      NRS 340.070  Notice of proceedings.

      1.  Notice of such proceedings shall be given by one publication in a newspaper having a general circulation in each county in which any part of the property sought to be condemned is located. Such publication shall be at least 20 days and not more than 30 days prior to the date set for the hearing on the validity of the proceedings.

      2.  Such notice shall be in substantially the following form (the blanks being appropriately filled):

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

       Notice is hereby given that ................ (here insert name of petitioner) has filed a petition in the above court under the Public Works Eminent Domain Law to acquire by condemnation for ................ (here give brief general description of the public works project for which the land is sought to be acquired) the following-described land: (Here describe the land sufficiently for the identification thereof. Such description may be by use of a plat or map.)

       Notice is further given that on ................ (here insert date of hearing, which must be at least 20 days and not more than 30 days after the date of publication) there will be a hearing in this court, at the opening thereof, for:

       (a) Determining the validity of the proceedings and the right of the petitioner, if it so elects, to take title to and possession of such property prior to final judgment, as authorized by NRS 340.160, and any persons having any interest in or lien upon the above-described property shall be deemed to have waived their rights thereafter to object to the court’s decision with respect to such issues, unless prior to the date they shall have filed in writing with the clerk of the court their objections thereto.

       (b) The appointment of a special master to determine the compensation to be awarded for such property and the persons entitled thereto.

       (c) The fixing of the date and place at which the special master shall hear and determine the compensation to be paid for such property and the person entitled thereto.

       Notice is further given that all claims or demands for compensation because of the taking and condemnation of such property must be filed with the above court before ................ (here insert a date 15 days after the date above specified for the court hearing), or the same shall be deemed waived.

 

       Dated the ........ day of ................ A.D. .........

 

                                                                   .......................................................................

                                                                                       Clerk of the court.

 

      3.  Notice of such proceedings shall also be given:

      (a) By posting a copy of the notice designated in subsection 2 in conspicuous places on the real property sought to be condemned.

      (b) By filing a copy thereof in the office of the clerk of the court in which such proceedings are pending.

      (c) By filing a copy thereof in the proper office or offices for the filing of lis pendens in each county in which any part of the real property is situated.

      4.  Such publication, posting and filing shall constitute a legal and sufficient notice to all persons having any interest in or lien upon the property described in the notice. The filing of such notice in the county office shall also be a constructive notice of the proceeding to any person who subsequently acquires any interest in or lien upon the property, and the petitioner shall take all property condemned under this chapter free of the claims of any such person.

      [7:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.27]

      NRS 340.080  Determination of issue raised by the objections filed.

      1.  All persons who have not filed written objections with the court prior to the time of the hearing specified in the notice prescribed by NRS 340.070, shall be deemed to have waived the right to file objections as to the sufficiency and validity of the petition, the proceedings and the relief sought thereby, and as to the right of the petitioner to take title and possession prior to final judgment, as authorized by NRS 340.160.

      2.  The court, at the time specified in the notice, after hearing and determining all issues of fact and law raised by the objections which have been filed, if any there be, shall enter a final judgment with respect to such issues, and thereafter there shall remain for determination only the amount of the compensation to be paid and the persons entitled thereto.

      3.  If any infant or other person under a legal disability shall not have appeared in the proceedings by his or her duly authorized legal representative, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent such person’s interest in the proceedings before the special master.

      [8:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.28]

      NRS 340.090  Appointment of special master.

      1.  The court, at the time of the hearing, shall appoint a special master to fix the amount of damages and compensation for the taking and condemnation of the property described in the petition and the persons entitled thereto, and to report thereon to the court. The special master shall be a disinterested person not related to anyone having an interest in or lien upon the property sought to be condemned. The compensation of the special master shall not exceed $15 per day plus travel and subsistence expenses.

      2.  The special master immediately after appointment shall subscribe to an oath that to the best of his or her ability the special master will truly find and return the compensation for the taking and condemnation of the property and the persons entitled thereto.

      [9:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.29]

      NRS 340.100  Notice of hearing by special master.

      1.  Immediately after appointment and taking of oath, the special master shall cause notice to be sent by registered or certified mail to all persons who have appeared in the proceedings or to their attorneys of record and to all others having any interest in or lien upon the property sought to be condemned, as shown by the record of the proper county office or offices for the recording of documents pertaining to such real property, and to all guardians ad litem appointed pursuant to the provisions of NRS 340.080, such notice to be addressed to such persons at their respective last known addresses.

      2.  The notice shall be substantially in the following form (with the blanks appropriately filled):

 

In The District Court For The County Of ................

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

       Notice is hereby given that ......................... (here insert name of petitioner) has filed a petition in the above court under the Public Works Eminent Domain Law to acquire by condemnation for ......................... (here give brief general description of the public works project for which the land is sought to be acquired), the following-described land: (Here describe the land sufficiently for the identification thereof. Such description may be by use of plat or map).

       All persons having an interest in or lien upon the above-described property, for which compensation will be demanded, are hereby notified that all claims or demands for compensation by reason of the taking and condemnation of such property shall be filed in writing with the court before ......................... (here insert date at least 15 days after the date set for the court hearing in the notice specified in NRS 340.070), and shall be deemed waived unless so filed, and that on ......................... a hearing will be held by the special master at ......................... (insert time and place fixed by the court for such hearing in blanks) with respect to:

       (a) The amount of compensation to be paid for the property sought to be condemned.

       (b) The persons entitled to such compensation.

 

       Dated the ........ day of ................ A.D.........

 

                                                                   .......................................................................

                                                                     Special master appointed by the court.

 

      3.  The special master shall also cause a copy of the notice to be posted in conspicuous places on the property sought to be condemned.

      4.  After such notice by mailing and posting, the special master, on the date for hearing specified in the notice, shall proceed immediately to hear and determine the question of just compensation for the taking and condemnation of the property and the persons entitled to such compensation. To this end, the special master may issue subpoenas, administer oaths to witnesses, and receive evidence and cause same to be recorded.

      [10:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.30]—(NRS A 1969, 95)

      NRS 340.110  Evidence admissible before special master.

      1.  For the purpose of determining the value of the land sought to be condemned and fixing just compensation therefor, the following evidence (in addition to other evidence which is relevant, material and competent) shall be relevant, material and competent, and shall be admitted and considered by the special master:

      (a) Evidence that a building or improvement is unsafe or insanitary or a public nuisance, or is in a state of disrepair, and of the cost to correct any such condition, notwithstanding that no action has been taken by local authorities to remedy any such condition.

      (b) Evidence that any state public body, charged with the duty of abating or requiring the correction of nuisances or like conditions or demolishing unsafe or insanitary structures, issued an order directing the abatement or correction of any conditions existing with respect to the building or improvement, or the demolition of the building or improvement, and of the cost which compliance with any such order would entail.

      (c) Evidence of the last assessed valuation of the property for purposes of taxation, and of any affidavits or tax returns made by the owner in connection with such assessment which state the value of such property, and of any income tax returns of the owner showing sums deducted on account of obsolescence or depreciation of such property.

      (d) Evidence that such buildings and improvements are being used for illegal purposes or are being so overcrowded as to be dangerous or injurious to the health, safety, morals or welfare of the occupants thereof, and the extent to which the rentals therefrom are enhanced by reason of such use.

      (e) Evidence of the price and other terms upon any sale or the rent reserved and other terms of any lease or tenancy relating to such property or to any similar property in the vicinity when the sale or leasing occurred or the tenancy existed within a reasonable time of the hearing.

      2.  The award of compensation shall not be increased by reason of any increase in the value of the property resulting from the public works project to be placed thereon.

      3.  No allowance shall be made for improvements begun on property after the publication of the notice specified in NRS 340.070, except upon good cause being shown.

      [11:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.31]

      NRS 340.120  Report of special master.  The report of the special master must be filed with the clerk of the court in which the proceeding is pending within 30 days after the date of the taking of the oath, unless further time is granted by the court. The court shall grant additional time for the filing of the report only on a showing that the report cannot, with all due diligence, be prepared within the time fixed.

      [12:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.32]

      NRS 340.130  Notice of report.  Upon the filing of such report by the special master, the court, without delay, shall fix a date for the hearing of any objections filed thereto. Notice that the report has been filed, that all objections thereto must be filed with the court within 10 days after the date of the mailing of such notice, and that the court has fixed a certain date (which shall be stated therein) for the hearing of such objections, shall be given by sending a copy of such notice by registered or certified mail to all persons who have appeared in the proceeding or their attorneys of record at their last known addresses. Upon the expiration of 10 days after the mailing of such notice, all objections to the report shall be deemed waived by all persons who have not filed written objections with the court.

      [13:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.33]—(NRS A 1969, 95)

      NRS 340.140  Hearing of objections by the court.

      1.  If no objections are filed to the special master’s report, the court (but only on motion of the petitioner unless title to the property has vested in the petitioner) shall enter a final judgment fixing the compensation to be paid for the property and the persons entitled to such compensation.

      2.  If any objections are filed to the special master’s report, the court on the date specified in the order shall hear and determine such questions of law and fact as are raised by such exceptions and may approve, disapprove or modify the special master’s findings or may reject the special master’s report in toto.

      3.  If the special master’s report is rejected in toto, the court shall at once appoint another special master in the same manner that the first special master was appointed, and such special master shall have the same powers and duties as the special master first appointed, except that notice of the time for filing claims and of the hearing of the special master may be given by registered or certified mail to all persons who have appeared in the proceedings or their attorneys of record at their last known addresses, and no other notice shall be necessary.

      4.  If the court shall approve the special master’s report, with or without modifications, the court (but only on motion of the petitioner unless title to the property has previously vested in the petitioner) shall enter a final judgment, fixing the compensation to be paid for such property and the persons entitled to such compensation.

      5.  If title to the property has not previously been vested in the petitioner, the title and right to possession of the property shall vest in the petitioner immediately upon the entry of such final judgment and upon the deposit in court by the petitioner of the amount of the judgment fixed by the court as the compensation for such property. Upon the entry of such judgment and the vesting of title aforesaid, the court shall designate the day (not exceeding 30 days thereafter, except upon good cause shown) on which the parties in possession of the property shall be required to surrender possession to the petitioner.

      [14:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.34]—(NRS A 1969, 95)

      NRS 340.150  Certified copy of judgment.  Upon the rendition of the final judgment vesting title in the petitioner, the clerk of the court shall make and certify, under the seal of the court, a copy or copies of such judgment, which shall be filed or recorded in the proper county office or offices for the recording of documents pertaining to the real property described therein, and such filing or recording shall constitute notice to all persons of the contents thereof.

      [15:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.35]—(NRS A 1971, 806)

      NRS 340.160  Declaration of taking: Filing; sufficiency; effect; duties of court.

      1.  At any time at or after the filing of the petition referred to in NRS 340.050, and before the entry of final judgment, the petitioner may file with the clerk of the court a declaration of taking, signed by the authorized officer or agent of the petitioner, declaring that all or any part of the property described in the petition is to be taken for the use of the petitioner.

      2.  The declaration of taking is sufficient if it sets forth:

      (a) A description sufficient to identify the property. The description may include a plat or map of the property.

      (b) A statement of the estate or interest in the property being taken.

      (c) A statement of the sum of money estimated by the petitioner to be just compensation for the property taken.

      3.  Upon the filing of the declaration of taking and the deposit in court, to the use of the persons entitled thereto, of the amount of the estimated compensation stated in the declaration, title to the property specified in the declaration vests in the petitioner, the property shall be deemed to be condemned and taken for the use of the petitioner and the right to just compensation for the taking of that property vests in the persons entitled thereto. Upon the filing of the declaration of taking, the court shall designate a day, not exceeding 30 days after the filing, except upon good cause shown, on which the parties in possession are required to surrender possession to the petitioner. If the petitioner is an authorized corporation, the court, before directing surrender of possession to the petitioner, shall require such security to be given, in addition to the amount deposited in court, as will reasonably assure the payment of any amount ultimately determined as the compensation to be paid.

      4.  The ultimate amount of compensation must be fixed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. If the amount so fixed exceeds the amount so deposited in court by the petitioner, the court shall enter judgment against the petitioner in the amount of the deficiency, together with interest at the rate of 6 percent per annum on the deficiency from the date of the vesting of title to the date of the entry of the final judgment, subject to abatement for use, income, rents or profits derived from that property by the owner thereof subsequent to the vesting of title in the petitioner, and the court shall order the petitioner to deposit the amount of the deficiency in court.

      [16:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.36]—(NRS A 1973, 153; 1989, 632)

      NRS 340.170  Right to withdraw or dismiss petition.  At any time before the vesting of title to the property in the petitioner, the petitioner may withdraw or dismiss its petition with respect to any or all of the property therein described.

      [17:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.37]—(NRS A 1973, 154; 1989, 633)

      NRS 340.180  Divesting title of owner.  Upon vesting of title to any property in the petitioner, all the right, title and interest of all persons having any interest therein or lien thereupon shall be divested immediately, and such persons thereafter shall be entitled only to receive compensation for such property.

      [18:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.38]

      NRS 340.190  Payment of award into court and disbursement thereof.

      1.  The payment into court by the petitioner of the amount of any award or the deposit in court of the amount estimated by the petitioner to be the just compensation for the property taken or condemned, shall be deemed to be a payment or deposit of money for the use of the persons entitled thereto.

      2.  Such payment or deposit shall constitute a payment to the persons entitled thereto to the extent of the moneys so paid or deposited into court.

      3.  Any such payment shall be as valid and effectual in all respects as if it were made by the petitioner directly to the person entitled thereto or, in the case of a person under legal disability, to the person’s guardian, whether or not:

      (a) Such person or his or her whereabouts is known or unknown;

      (b) Such person is under a legal disability; or

      (c) There are adverse or conflicting claims to such awards.

      4.  The money paid into court shall be secured in such manner as may be directed by the court, and shall be paid out by the special master to the persons found to be entitled thereto by the final judgment of the court.

      [19:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.39]

      NRS 340.200  Recovery of award.  If an award shall be paid to a person not entitled thereto, the sole recourse of the person to whom it should have been paid shall be against the person to whom it shall have been paid. In such event the person entitled to the award may sue for and recover the same, with lawful interest and costs of suit, as such money had and received to his or her use by the person to whom the same shall have been paid.

      [20:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.40]

      NRS 340.210  Appeal.

      1.  Any time within 30 days from the filing of any interlocutory or final order or judgment by the court, any person or persons of record in the proceedings, who shall have filed exceptions at any stage of the proceedings within the time and in the manner specified, may appeal therefrom, but only with respect to those questions or issues which were raised by such exceptions.

      2.  The taking of an appeal shall not operate to stay the proceedings under this chapter except when the person or persons appealing shall have obtained a stay of the execution of the judgment or order appealed from, in which event the proceedings shall be stayed only with respect to the person or persons appealing and their respective interests in the proceedings. Upon the taking of an appeal the proceedings shall be deemed severed as to the person or persons appealing and their respective interests in the proceeding.

      3.  Any interlocutory or final order or judgment shall be final and conclusive upon all persons affected thereby who have not appealed within the time herein prescribed.

      4.  Any petitioner, other than an authorized corporation, may appeal without giving bond; but any other person or persons appealing shall give bond, with good and sufficient surety, to be approved by the court, conditioned to pay all costs taxed against appellant on such appeal.

      [21:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.41]

      NRS 340.220  Costs.  If the petitioner, prior to the making of the award, shall have tendered to an interested person for his or her property or deposited in court for such property an amount which such interested person refused to accept or agree to as just compensation, all costs shall be assessed against such person in the event that the aforesaid amount tendered or deposited is equal to or in excess of the award fixed or confirmed by the court with respect to such parcel.

      [22:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.42]

      NRS 340.230  Powers supplemental.

      1.  The powers conferred by this chapter shall be in addition and supplemental to and not in substitution for the power conferred by any other law. The power of eminent domain may be exercised hereunder notwithstanding that any other law may provide for the exercise of the power for like purposes and without regard to the requirements, restrictions or procedural provisions contained in any other law.

      2.  Procedure hereunder, which is not prescribed herein, shall be that which is otherwise prescribed by the law of the state.

      [23:135:1935; 1931 NCL § 6179.43]