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Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)

AASHTO 2006 Clearinghouse Report

Eminent Domain

The Florida Department of Transportation requested a survey of the other states regarding States experiences with eminent domain.

  1. Does your state use a method of eminent domain for transportation projects whereby the filing of a map of condemnation, appropriation, expropriation (or other such term) is sufficient to vest title in the DOT?

  2. Please provide a name and phone number that we may contact to answer a few questions about that process.


Responding to the inquiry below, the Arizona Department of Transportation must file a Resolution of Establishment approved by the Arizona Transportation Board with the applicable county recorder where the parcel is located prior to an eminent domain action. The Resolution of Establishment will contain a plat indicating the subject parcel location. This process does not provide title, but leads up to the procedures defined below.

Condemnation pleadings are prepared by the Transportation Division of the Attorney General's office and filed with the Superior Court. At the time of filing, an Order to Show Cause date is scheduled by the Judicial Assistant and signed by the Judge, which is typically 30 days from the filing date. At the Order to Show Cause hearing, the Judge signs the Order of Immediate Possession (OIP) if all goes according to plan. State Statue defines that the possession of the property is not valid until a surety bond or cash deposit in the amount determined is deposited with the Clerk of the Court or the State Treasury. The deposit is usually made anywhere from one to four days after the Judge executes the OIP. At that time, ADOT has possession of the property for construction activities.

The Final Order of Condemnation (FOC) may take anywhere from one to several years after the OIP is signed. ADOT receives its legal title, whether it be fee or easement, upon recordation of the FOC.

The website for Eminent Domain proceedings conducted by ADOT under State Statute is:, Title 28.


  1. Arkansas can obtain an easement for some projects by filing a condemnation action with the County Court using a centerline description. This is sued to obtain easements only, not a fee interest in property. Condemnation is used when the property owner will not sign the necessary documentation to provide the easement. The amount of just compensation is deposited with the court in the case of condemnation.

  2. Kay Crutchfield
    Assistant Division Head
    Right of Way Division
    Arkansas State Highway & Transportation Dept.
    P.O. Box 2261
    Little Rock, AR 72203
    Phone: 501-569-2311
    Fax: 501-569-2018


  1. No - we have to have a legal description in order to obtain a resolution of necessity from the California Transportation Commission (CTC). The resolution is required before we file the case.

    Under California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) 1250.310 (b) a legal description on the property is required in the Complaint. A map is also required as an exhibit to the complaint under CCP code 1230.310 (3) (c).

    The Final Order of Condemnation also requires the legal description under CCP code 1268.030 (b). The Final Order of Condemnation (FOC) is recorded with the County Recorder and is the document used to instruct the County to transfer title of the property.

    I don't have a copy of the Recorder's requirements, but I can't imagine that they would transfer property based on a map (anyway, that isn't the question).

  2. Debbie Gebers
    Sacramento - Project Delivery
    Phone: 916 654-4929 / ATSS 8 464-4929


Please be advised that in order to affect a taking in the State of Connecticut under our eminent domain proceedings the following documents are prepared and filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court for the Judicial District where the property is located:

"Notice of Condemnation" - names the property owner(s) and all other parties of record who may have an equitable interest; declares the statutory authority we are operating under; and describes the taking including reference to a map to be filed.

Taking Map

Service Transfer Invoice - the deposit of damages $

Upon filing the above, title vests with the State.

In addition, we also file a "Certificate of Taking" and map on the land records of the town where the property is located as an indication of the action taken in court.

Should you have any other questions please contact me and I will do my best to answer them for you.

Karen L. Jarvis (formerly Guzowski)
Rights of Way Division Chief
Titles Division

We know of no situation in Illinois where condemners were allowed to do this.


  1. No, the map is used as an attachment to the expropriations proceedings. The map does not stand along in the expropriations suit package to satisfy of state law.
  2. Please contact Robert LeDoux in our expropriation section at 225-237-1343 for more details.


  1. Yes, Maine law allows a "Notice of layout and taking" to acquire real property for public use. A notice is placed in the newspaper, filed in the appropriate land records office and payment is made to the owner(s) of record. Any parcel not settled in the 60 day period immediately following condemnation is referred to the State Claims Commission for adjudication of Just Compensation. Maine uses this process almost exclusively for every acquisition; the few exceptions are compensatory mitigation parcels.

  2. The point of contact for more information is:
    William Pulver Director,
    Property Office
    Maine DOT
    16 State House Station
    Augusta, Maine 04333-0016


  1. Does your state use a method of eminent domain for transportation projects whereby the filing of a map of condemnation, appropriation, expropriation (or other such term) is sufficient to vest title in the DOT?

    In MA, we can acquire title to property upon the recording of an order of taking (and plan if needed) in the appropriate registry of deeds.

  1. Please provide a name and phone number that we may contact to answer a few questions about that process. I would suggest contacting Charlie O'Brien at 617 973-7921 with any follow up questions.


  1. In Maryland we can file maps and money into court which give us the right of possession of properties to build our project. We then must continue to negotiate and/or have a trial to actually obtain title.

  2. Joseph Miklochik, Deputy Director
    Office of Real Estate, Maryland State Highway Administration
    Tele: 410-545-0021
    Fax: 410-209-5024


We had a law passed in 1997, whereby we filed the eminent domain proceeding & made a deposit with the court of an amount equal to the FMVO. The owner was served with process & a notice that if no action was taken within a short time frame (30 days), then the court would enter an order granting right of entry to MDOT. The law was challenged & the state Supreme Court declared it to be unconstitutional. The ruling was that the owner could not have property taken without the opportunity for a hearing being guaranteed. The concept that the owner had to request a hearing was not accepted. When the ruling was made MDOT had to amend the filings of a large number of cases filed under the 1997 law. We went back to using the laws that had been on our books for several decades which provides for a "quick take" procedure. That process has the opportunity for hearing mandated by statute. If requested I will forward the decision of our court; ask for the "Lemon" decision.


Missouri law does not accommodate such an eminent domain method.


Nebraska does not have such a process. We must file individual petitions on each parcel after good faith negotiations have failed.


  1. New Jersey is unfortunately not one of the States capable of obtaining possession by simply filing a set of plans. But I still can wish.
  2. Nick Monahan
    Director, Division of Right of Way


Ohio does not posses the authority you wrote about below. Our appropriation petitions are by and large tied to a set of R/W plans (which establishes necessity), but they do not give us title to the property. We must still go through formal appropriation proceedings to be awarded title
by the courts.


  1. No

  2. Kurt A. Harms
    Chief, Right-of-Way
    Oklahoma Department of Transportation
    200 N.E. 21st Street
    Oklahoma City, OK 73105
    405-521-2661 Office
    405-522-1858 Fax


In Oregon we must have a legal description. New York uses a method of filing a map that actually gives them possession of the property. The negotiations come after they have possession by the filing. We heard this at AASHTO.


Answer to question No. 1 is No.


SC does not and cannot use the filing of a map in order to implement condemnation or secure title to properties.


  1. The only thing SD uses that may be similar is the "quick take" procedure whereby when a condemnation is filed (with necessary supporting documentation including plans, plats, appraisals and Declaration of Taking) possession of the property vests with the State 30 days after filing unless the landowner files with the court a written challenge to the necessity of the taking within that 30-day time period.

  2. Darin Bergquist


In Utah, we have to file the condemnation with the court, have the property owner served with a Service of Summons, then the property owner has 20 days to respond. If no response, then the judge will award us occupancy. The entire process takes about 2 months.


  1. No. The State does file a set of plans with the municipality in which the property is located. It also must record a condemnation order in the land records of the municipality and title passes on the date the order is recorded.

  2. Bill Morse


Washington State laws do not allow that type of acquisition. Possession and use is not even possible without consent of the land owner.


If I understand the question correctly, Wisconsin does not obtain possession of a property via eminent domain through the filing of a "map". We must make payment to a property owner and record a document called an "Award of Damage" before we obtain title. A copy of the Award of Damage document is attached. (It happens to be the form the Aeronautics, but our highway one is the same except for some minor language changes.) Let me know if you need anything more!


  1. No.
Updated: 10/20/2015
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