Land Condemnation

Questions on Condemnation

All questions about condemnation should be directed to:

Mark McCulloch, P.E., Senior Project Manager
Washtenaw County Road Commission
555 N. Zeeb Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan,48103


Act 87 of Public Act 1980 - Overview

At the conclusion of negotiations, if you do not wish to accept the agency's offer, eminent domain proceeding are initiated in circuit court under Act 295, Public Acts of 1966, as amended, pursuant to the provisions of Public Act 87 of 1980, as amended.


A brief summary of the steps under P.A. 87

  1. You will receive several legal documents these will consist of a Complaint, Order for Hearing on Complaint, Statement of Necessity, and Declaration of Taking. The full amount of money offered for the property as stated in Declaration of Taking is placed on deposit with the State Treasurer.

  2. The Order for Hearing on Complaint will inform you of the date set for a hearing. You have 21 days following receipt of the Complaint to challenge the necessity of the acquisition of your property by filing a motion with the court asking for a review. The statement of Necessity is binding unless you can show fraud, error of law, or abuse of discretion. When the necessity for the taking is not challenged, or the challenge has been denied, the agency acquires right-of-way to the property as of the date the Complaint was filed, unless the court sets a different date. If you or your attorney do not attend the hearing, the court may be requested to enter on Order of Default.

    You have 60 days from the date of filing to submit a written claim to the agency if you believe an item of value has been overlooked. You must provide sufficient information and detail about the claim so the agency can determine the value of the claim and whether it is eligible for payment.

  3. At the first hearing, the agency will request the court to establish the time and terms for surrender of the right-of-way needed from your property. The court will be requested to order the State Treasurer to pay you the money the agency has offered for you property. The court will set a date for the pretrial hearing and impaneling of six-person jury.

  4. The court will establish a trial date, and the jury will be charged with the responsibility of determining the amount of just compensation after hearing the evidence. At trial, WCRC will present its case to the jury, justifying the amount it has offered. You will have the opportunity to present evidence to support the value you think the property is worth. The jury's decision may be appealed by the parties of interest of the agency.

    If the jury's award exceeds the agency's0 written good faith offer, you will be reimbursed reasonable attorney fees as allowed by law. You may also be reimbursed certain reasonable expert witness fees for preparation and trial. The court may be called upon to determine the reasonableness of fees.

This is a brief description of the typical steps taken in an eminent domain proceeding. This overview does not explain all of the specific or unique aspects of an eminent domain proceeding.