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Losses occurring to property before the actual date of taking are not compensable in direct condemnation actions. (Cases in Brief).

Losses occurring to property before the actual date of taking are not compensable in direct condemnation actions, according to the Court of Appeals of Georgia.

Five Forks, LLC, held an option to purchase a parcel of land. Five Forks intended to build a drug-store on the property; however, it needed a driveway permit from the Department of Transportation (Department) to improve access to the property. Because of a road-widening project that was to go through the middle of the property, the Department would not issue the driveway permit. By the time of their decision, Five Forks' option to purchase had expired and the property owner decided not to grant any further extensions. More than two years after the option expired, the Department filed a petition to condemn the property. In the condemnation proceedings, Five Forks asserted that based on the purchase option, it had a compensable interest in the property. Upon learning that the option had expired more than two years before the taking, the trial court ruled against Five Forks.

The appellate court said that in a direct, formal condemnation case the date of the taking is the date on which compensation is tendered or paid to the landowner. The court said that the date of the taking was the date the Department deposited the estimated compensation into the court's registry (June 15, 1999). Since this was more than two years after Five Forks' option expired, the court concluded that Five Forks was not the equitable owner of an interest in the land at the time of the condemnation. The trial court decision was affirmed.

Five Forks, L.L.C. v. Department of Transp.

Court of Appeals of Georgia

June 21, 2001

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Publication:Appraisal Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2002
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