2009 Rhode Island Code
Title 45 - Towns and cities
CHAPTER 45-54 - Municipal Detention Facility Corporations
§ 45-54-9 - Eminent domain proceedings.

SECTION 45-54-9

   § 45-54-9  Eminent domain proceedings. – (a) The corporation has the right to acquire any land, or any interest in it, including development rights, by the exercise of the power of eminent domain, whenever it is determined by the corporation that the acquisition of the land, or interest, is necessary for the construction or the operation of any project.

   (b) The power of eminent domain shall be exercised only within the boundaries of the city or town whose council established the corporation.

   (c) The necessity for acquisition is conclusively presumed upon the adoption by the corporation of a resolution declaring that the acquisition of the land, or interest in it, described in the resolution is necessary for the construction or operation of any project. Within six (6) months thereafter, the corporation shall cause to be filed, in the land evidence records of the city or town in which the land is located, a copy of the resolution of the corporation, together with a plat of the land, or interest in it described, and a statement signed by the chairperson of the corporation, that the land, or interest in it, is taken pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. Thereupon, the corporation shall file, in the superior court in and for the county in which the land, or interest in it, lies, a statement of the sum of money estimated by the corporation to be just compensation for the land taken.

   (d) Upon filing of the copy of the resolution, plat, and statement in the land evidence records of the city or town, the filing, in the superior court, of the statement, and the depositing in the superior court, to the use of the person entitled to it, of such a sum as the court determines to be amply sufficient to satisfy the claims of all persons interested in the land (and the court may, in its discretion, take evidence on the question to determine the sum to be deposited), title to the land, or interest in it, shall vest in the corporation in fee simple absolute and the corporation thereupon may take possession of the land, or interest in it.

   (e) No sum so paid into the court shall be charged with clerk's fees of any nature. After the filing of the copy, plat, and statement, notice of the taking of the land, or interest in it, shall be served upon the owners of and persons having an estate in and interest in the land by the sheriff or the sheriff's deputies of the county in which the land, or interest in it, lies, leaving a true and attested copy of the description and statement with each of the persons personally, or at their last and usual place of abode in this state with some person living there, and in case any of the persons are absent from this state and have no last and usual place of abode in this state occupied by any person, the copy shall be left with the persons, if any, in charge of or having possession of the land, or interest in it, taken of the absent persons if the persons are known to the officer; and after the filing of the resolution, plat, and statement, the secretary of the corporation shall cause a copy of the resolution and statement to be published in some newspaper published or having general circulation in the county where the land, or interest in it, may be located, at least once a week for three (3) successive weeks. If any persons agree with the corporation for the price of land, or interest in it, so taken, the court, upon the application of the parties in interest, may order that the sum agreed upon be paid immediately from the money deposited, as the just compensation to be awarded in the proceeding.

   (f) Any owner of or person entitled to any estate in or interest in any part of the land, or interest in it, so taken, who cannot agree with the corporation for the price of the land, or interest in it, so taken, in which he or she is interested, may, within three (3) months after personal notice of the taking, or, if he or she has no personal notice, within one year from the first publication of the copy of the resolution and statement, apply, by petition, to the superior court in and for the county in which the land, or interest in it, lies, setting forth the taking of his or her land or interest in it, and praying for an assessment of damages by a jury. Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall cause twenty (20)days' notice of the pendency of the petition to be given to the corporation with a certified copy, and may proceed after the notice to the trial; and the trial shall determine all questions of fact relating to the value of the land, or interest in it, and the amount and judgment shall be entered upon the verdict of the jury and execution shall be issued against the money so deposited in court and in default against any other property of the corporation. In case two (2) or more conflicting petitioners make claim to the same land, or to any interests in it, or to different interests in the same parcel of land, the court, upon motion, shall consolidate their several petitions for trial at the same time by the same jury, and may frame all necessary issues for the trial; and all proceedings taken pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall take precedence over all other civil matters then pending before the court, or if the superior court, in and for the county in which the land, or interest in it, lies, is not in session in that county, then the proceedings may be heard in the superior court for the counties of Providence and Bristol.

   (g) If any lands, or interests in them, in which any minor, or other person not capable in law to act in his or her own behalf, is interested are taken by the corporation under the provisions of this chapter, the superior court, upon the filing of any petition by or in behalf of the minor or other person, may appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor or other person, and the guardian may appear and be heard in behalf of the minor or other person, and the guardian may also, with the advice and consent of the superior court and upon those terms that the superior court may prescribe, release to the corporation all claims for damages for the lands of the minor or other persons, or for any interest in them. Any lawfully appointed, qualified, and acting guardian or other fiduciary of the estate of any minor or other person, with the approval of the court of probate within this state having jurisdiction to authorize the sale of lands and properties within this state of any minor or other person, may, before the filing of any petition, agree with the corporation upon the amount of damages suffered by the minor or other person by any taking of his or her lands or of his or her interests in any lands, and may, upon receiving that amount, release to the corporation all claims of damages of the minor or other person for the taking.

   (h) Whenever, from time to time, the corporation has satisfied the court that the amount deposited with the court is greater than is amply sufficient to satisfy the claims of all persons interested in the land, the court may order that the amount of any excess, including any interest or increment on any sums so deposited, shall be repaid to the corporation. Whenever the corporation has satisfied the court that the claims of all persons interested in the land taken have been satisfied, the unexpended balance, including any interest or increment on any sums so deposited, shall immediately be paid to the corporation.

   (i) In any proceedings for the assessment of compensation and damages for land or interest in it taken or to be taken by eminent domain by the corporation, the following provision is applicable: At any time during the pendency of any action or proceeding, the corporation or an owner may apply to the court for an order directing an owner or the corporation, as the case may be, to show cause why further proceedings should not be expedited, and the court may upon that application make an order requiring that the hearings proceed and that any other steps be taken with all possible expedition.

   (j) If any of the land, or interest therein, is devoted to a public use, it may be acquired, and the taking is effective, provided that no land, or interest in it, belonging to a public utilities administrator or other officer or tribunal having regulatory power over a public utility is taken. Any land, or interest in it, already acquired by the corporation may nevertheless be included within the taking for the purpose of acquiring any outstanding interests in the land.

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