The office of commissioner of condemnation is created. In counties having a population of less than 100,000 there shall be 6 commissioners; in counties having a population of 100,000 or more and less than 500,000 there shall be 9 commissioners; in counties having a population of 500,000 or more there shall be 12 commissioners. Each such commissioner must be a resident of the county or of an adjoining county in the same judicial circuit prior to appointment and remain so during the term of office. Not more than one-third of such commissioners shall be attorneys at law, licensed for active practice in this state.
Such commissioners shall be appointed by the circuit judge or judges of the circuit court for such county and may be removed by said judge or judges at their pleasure. Where any county has more than one circuit judge, the affirmative vote of a majority of such judges shall be necessary to an appointment or a removal. All appointments and removals shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court for the county. Each commissioner shall take and file the official oath. The first appointments after April 6, 1960 shall be made for staggered terms of 1, 2 and 3 years as fixed by the circuit judge. Thereafter all appointments shall be made for 3-year terms. Vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term.
The commissioners in each county shall annually elect one of their number as chairperson, and the chairperson shall select and notify the commissioners to serve on each commission of 3 required to sit in condemnation.
Commissioners shall receive no salary but shall be compensated for actual service at an hourly rate to be fixed by the county board of the county. Commissioners shall also receive mileage at a rate fixed by the county board for necessary and direct round trip travel from their homes to the place where the condemnation commission conducts its hearings. The chairperson of the county commission shall receive such reasonable sum, computed at the hourly rate as fixed by the county board, as shall be allowed by the circuit judge having jurisdiction over the hearing, for his or her administrative work in selecting and notifying the commissioners to serve in the condemnation hearing and his or her necessary out-of-pocket expenses in connection with the hearing. All such compensation and expenses shall be paid by the condemnor on order approved by the circuit judge.
If the petitioner under s. 32.06
is entitled to condemn the property or any portion of it or interest therein, the circuit judge having jurisdiction of the petition, or to whom an application for county commissioner of condemnation review is taken from a highway taking award, shall assign the matter to the chairperson of the county condemnation commissioners who shall within 7 days select 3 of the commissioners to serve as a commission to ascertain the compensation to be made for the taking of the property or rights in property sought to be condemned, fix the time and place of the hearing before the commission, which time shall not be less than 20 nor more than 30 days after the assignment date, and notify the parties in interest thereof. The judge's order of assignment shall be accompanied by a copy of the petition for condemnation. Notice shall be given to each interested person or, where the persons have appeared in the proceeding by an attorney then to the attorney, by certified mail with return receipt requested, postmarked at least 10 days prior to the date of hearing. If any party cannot be found and has not appeared in the proceedings, a class 3 notice shall be published, under ch. 985
, in the community which the chairperson of the condemnation commission directs. Costs of notification shall be paid by the petitioner upon certification by the commission chairperson.
At the hearing the commissioners shall first view the property sought to be condemned and then hear all evidence desired to be produced. The condemnee shall present his or her testimony first and have the right to close. Except as provided in s. 901.05
, in conducting the hearing the commission shall not be bound by common law or statutory rules of evidence. The commission shall admit all testimony having reasonable probative value, but shall exclude immaterial, irrelevant and unduly repetitious testimony. The amount of a prior jurisdictional offer or award shall not be disclosed to the commission. The commission shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law. Basic principles of relevancy, materiality and probative force, as recognized in equitable proceedings, shall govern the proof of all questions of fact. The commission may on its own motion adjourn the hearing once for not more than 7 days, but may by stipulation of all parties grant other adjournments. A majority of the commissioners, being present, may determine all matters.
If either party desires that the proceedings by the commission be transcribed, the commission may order the same and the applicant shall pay the cost thereof. Within 10 days after the conclusion of such hearing the commission shall make a written award specifying therein the property taken and the compensation, and file such award with the clerk of the circuit court, who shall cause a copy thereof to be mailed to each party in interest and record the original in the judgment record of such court. The commission shall file with the clerk of the court a sworn voucher for the compensation due each member, which sum, upon approval by the circuit judge, shall be paid by the condemnor.
The failure of a condemnation commission to file its award within 10 days did not deprive it of jurisdiction. Herro v. Natural Resources Board, 53 Wis. 2d 157
, 192 N.W.2d 104
The 60-day period under s. 32.05 (10) (a) for appealing a condemnation commission award begins to run when the commission has filed its award with the circuit court clerk and the clerk has mailed and recorded the award under sub. (6) (b). Dairyland Fuels, Inc. v. State, 2000 WI App 129
, 237 Wis. 2d 467
, 614 N.W.2d 829
Rules governing determination of just compensation.
In all matters involving the determination of just compensation in eminent domain proceedings, the following rules shall be followed:
The compensation so determined and the status of the property under condemnation for the purpose of determining whether severance damages exist shall be as of the date of evaluation as fixed by s. 32.05 (7) (c)
or 32.06 (7)
As a basis for determining value, a commission in condemnation or a court may consider the price and other terms and circumstances of any good faith sale or contract to sell and purchase comparable property. A sale or contract is comparable within the meaning of this subsection if it was made within a reasonable time before or after the date of evaluation and the property is sufficiently similar in the relevant market, with respect to situation, usability, improvements and other characteristics, to warrant a reasonable belief that it is comparable to the property being valued.
In determining just compensation the property sought to be condemned shall be considered on the basis of its most advantageous use but only such use as actually affects the present market value.
In determining just compensation for property sought to be condemned in connection with the construction of facilities, as defined under s. 196.491 (1) (e)
, any increase in the market value of such property occurring after the date of evaluation but before the date upon which the lis pendens is filed under s. 32.06 (7)
shall be considered and allowed to the extent it is caused by factors other than the planned facility.
Special benefits accruing to the property and affecting its market value because of the planned public improvement shall be considered and used to offset the value of property taken or damages under sub. (6)
, but in no event shall such benefits be allowed in excess of damages described under sub. (6)
If a depreciation in value of property results from an exercise of the police power, even though in conjunction with the taking by eminent domain, no compensation may be paid for such depreciation except as expressly allowed in subs. (5) (b)
and s. 32.19
In the case of a total taking the condemnor shall pay the fair market value of the property taken and shall be liable for the items in s. 32.19
if shown to exist.
Any increase or decrease in the fair market value of real property prior to the date of evaluation caused by the public improvement for which such property is acquired, or by the likelihood that the property would be acquired for such improvement, other than that due to physical deterioration within the reasonable control of the owner, may not be taken into account in determining the just compensation for the property.
In the case of a partial taking of property other than an easement, the compensation to be paid by the condemnor shall be the greater of either the fair market value of the property taken as of the date of evaluation or the sum determined by deducting from the fair market value of the whole property immediately before the date of evaluation, the fair market value of the remainder immediately after the date of evaluation, assuming the completion of the public improvement and giving effect, without allowance of offset for general benefits, and without restriction because of enumeration but without duplication, to the following items of loss or damage to the property where shown to exist:
Loss of land including improvements and fixtures actually taken.
Deprivation or restriction of existing right of access to highway from abutting land, provided that nothing herein shall operate to restrict the power of the state or any of its subdivisions or any municipality to deprive or restrict such access without compensation under any duly authorized exercise of the police power.
Damages resulting from actual severance of land including damages resulting from severance of improvements or fixtures and proximity damage to improvements remaining on condemnee's land. In determining severance damages under this paragraph, the condemnor may consider damages which may arise during construction of the public improvement, including damages from noise, dirt, temporary interference with vehicular or pedestrian access to the property and limitations on use of the property. The condemnor may also consider costs of extra travel made necessary by the public improvement based on the increased distance after construction of the public improvement necessary to reach any point on the property from any other point on the property.
Damages to property abutting on a highway right-of-way due to change of grade where accompanied by a taking of land.
Cost of fencing reasonably necessary to separate land taken from remainder of condemnee's land, less the amount allowed for fencing taken under par. (a)
, but no such damage shall be allowed where the public improvement includes fencing of right-of-way without cost to abutting lands.
In the case of the taking of an easement, the compensation to be paid by the condemnor shall be determined by deducting from the fair market value of the whole property immediately before the date of evaluation, the fair market value of the remainder immediately after the date of evaluation, assuming the completion of the public improvement and giving effect, without allowance of offset for general benefits, and without restriction because of enumeration but without duplication, to the items of loss or damage to the property enumerated in sub. (6) (a)
where shown to exist.
In the case of a taking of an easement in lands zoned or used for agricultural purposes, for the purpose of constructing or operating a high-voltage transmission line, as defined in s. 196.491 (1) (f)
, or any petroleum or fuel pipeline, the offer under s. 32.05 (2a)
or 32.06 (2a)
, the jurisdictional offer under s. 32.05 (3)
or 32.06 (3)
, the award of damages under s. 32.05 (7)
, the award of the condemnation commissioners under s. 32.05 (9)
or 32.06 (8)
or the assessment under s. 32.57 (5)
, and the jury verdict as approved by the court under s. 32.05 (10)
or 32.06 (10)
or the judgment under s. 32.61 (3)
shall specify, in addition to a lump sum representing just compensation under sub. (6)
for outright acquisition of the easement, an amount payable annually on the date therein set forth to the condemnee, which amount represents just compensation under sub. (6)
for the taking of the easement for one year.
The condemnee shall choose between the lump sum and the annual payment method of compensation at such time as the condemnee accepts the offer, award or verdict, or the proceedings relative to the issue of compensation are otherwise terminated. Selection of the lump sum method of payment shall irrevocably bind the condemnee and successors in interest.
Except as provided under subd. 2.
, if the condemnee selects the annual payment method of compensation, the fact of such selection and the amount of the annual payment shall be stated in the conveyance or an appendix thereto which shall be recorded with the register of deeds. The first annual payment shall be in addition to payment of any items payable under s. 32.19
. Succeeding annual payments shall be determined by multiplying the amount of the first annual payment by the quotient of the state assessment under s. 70.575
for the year in question divided by the state assessment for the year in which the first annual payment for that easement was made, if the quotient exceeds one. A condemnee who selects the annual payment method of compensation, or any successor in interest, may at any time, by agreement with the condemnor or otherwise, waive in writing his or her right, or the right of his or her successors in interest, to receive such payments. Any successor in interest shall be deemed to have waived such right until the date on which written notice of his or her right to receive annual payments is received by the condemnor or its successor in interest.
If lands which are zoned or used for agricultural purposes and which are condemned and compensated by the annual payment method of compensation under this paragraph are no longer zoned or used for agricultural purposes, the right to receive the annual payment method of compensation for a high-voltage transmission line easement shall cease and the condemnor or its successor in interest shall pay to the condemnee or any successor in interest who has given notice as required under subd. 1.
a single payment equal to the difference between the lump sum representing just compensation under sub. (6)
and the total of annual payments previously received by the condemnee and any successor in interest.
In addition to the amount of compensation paid pursuant to sub. (6)
, the owner shall be paid for the items provided for in s. 32.19
, if shown to exist, and in the manner described in s. 32.20
A commission in condemnation or a court may in their respective discretion require that both condemnor and owner submit to the commission or court at a specified time in advance of the commission hearing or court trial, a statement covering the respective contentions of the parties on the following points:
Designation of claimed comparable lands, sale of which will be used in appraisal opinion evidence.
Costs of reproduction less depreciation and rate of depreciation used.
Statements of capitalization of income where used as a factor in valuation, with supporting data.
Separate opinion as to fair market value, including before and after value where applicable by not to exceed 3 appraisers.
A recitation of all damages claimed by owner.
Qualifications and experience of witnesses offered as experts.
A condemnation commission or a court may make regulations for the exchange of the statements referred to in sub. (8)
by the parties, but only where both owner and condemnor furnish same, and for the holding of prehearing or pretrial conference between parties for the purpose of simplifying the issues at the commission hearing or court trial.
When a strip of land was taken and highway access to a loading dock restricted without a prior finding of necessity to limit access, the plaintiff could recover damages for loss of access because the police power under sub. (4) had not been exercised; rather the taking was by eminent domain. Crown Zellerbach Corp. v. City of Milwaukee Development Department, 47 Wis. 2d 142
, 177 N.W.2d 94
While the general rule is that evidence of net income is inadmissible to establish fair market value, that rule does not preclude admission of net income evidence under certain circumstances for certain purposes, including impeachment, refreshing the recollection of a witness, or when proper objection is not timely made. Mancheski v. State, 49 Wis. 2d 46
, 181 N.W.2d 420
The closing of an intersection under the police power does not require compensation so long as access to property is preserved. There is no property right to the flow of traffic. Schneider v. State, 51 Wis. 2d 458
, 187 N.W.2d 172
It was error to receive testimony of an appraiser who made his appraisal 10 months before the date of the taking and acknowledged that the value had changed in the 10 months but could not update his appraisal. Schey Enterprises, Inc. v. State, 52 Wis. 2d 361
, 190 N.W.2d 149
If a partial taking eliminates a sewer connection, the condemnor must pay the owner's expense of connecting to another sewer, even though the taking is by an exercise of the police power. Hanser v. Metropolitan Sewerage District of Milwaukee, 52 Wis. 2d 429
, 190 N.W.2d 161
The admissibility of opinion evidence as to the probability of laying out a road, zoning changes, and sanitary facilities is discussed. Bembinster v. State, 57 Wis. 2d 277
, 203 N.W.2d 897
Damages caused by a change of the grade of a street or highway where no land is taken constitutes an exercise of police power that is separate and distinct from the exercise of the power of eminent domain under sub. (6) (f) and is only compensable under s. 32.18. Jantz v. State, 63 Wis. 2d 404
, 217 N.W.2d 266
Inconvenience is a factor only when the landowner's property rights in the remaining portion are so impaired that the owner has, in effect, had that portion taken also. DeBruin v. Green County, 72 Wis. 2d 464
, 241 N.W.2d 167
An owner's opinion as to the value of real estate may be accepted, but in order to support a verdict some basis for the opinion must be shown. Genge v. Baraboo, 72 Wis. 2d 531
, 241 N.W.2d 183
The requirement that property be valued as an integrated and comprehensive entity does not mean that the individual components of value may not be examined or considered in arriving at an overall fair market value. Milwaukee & Suburban Transport Corp. v. Milwaukee County, 82 Wis. 2d 420
, 263 N.W.2d 503
An existing right of access in s. 32.09 (6) (b) includes the right of an abutting property owner to ingress and egress and the right to be judged on criteria for granting permits for access points under s. 86.07 (2). The restriction of access was a compensable taking. Narloch v. DOT, 115 Wis. 2d 419
, 340 N.W.2d 542
A court may apply the "assemblage" doctrine that permits consideration of evidence of prospective use that requires integration of the condemned parcel with other parcels if integration of the lands is reasonably probable. Clarmar v. City of Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority, 129 Wis. 2d 81
, 383 N.W.2d 890
There can be no compensation under sub. (6) (b) without the denial of substantially all beneficial use of a property. Sippel v. City of St. Francis, 164 Wis. 2d 527
, 476 N.W.2d 579
(Ct. App. 1991).
A change in use is not a prerequisite to finding a special benefit under sub. (3); the real issue is whether the property has gained a benefit not shared by any other parcel. Red Top Farms v. DOT, 177 Wis. 2d 822
, 503 N.W.2d 354
(Ct. App. 1993).
Damage to property is not compensated as a taking. For flooding to be a taking it must constitute a permanent physical occupation of property. Menick v. City of Menasha, 200 Wis. 2d 737
, 547 N.W.2d 778
(Ct. App. 1996), 95-0185
The state's assertion that the plaintiff's property, even if rendered uninhabitable as a residence by state construction activities, could be used for some non-residential purpose could not support a motion for dismissal. Factual issues of damage and causation are properly deferred to the summary judgment or trial stage. Wikel v. DOT, 2001 WI App 214
, 247 Wis. 2d 626
, 635 N.W.2d 213
Evidence of net income is ordinarily inadmissible for purposes of establishing property values in condemnation cases involving commercial enterprises because income is dependent upon too many variables to serve as a reliable guide in determining fair market value. Rademann v. DOT, 2002 WI App 59
, 252 Wis. 2d 191
, 642 N.W.2d 600
Comparable sales evidence is admissible as direct evidence of the land's value or for the limited indirect purpose of demonstrating a basis for and giving weight to an expert opinion. Admission of comparable sales as direct evidence of value is more restrictive than the admissibility rule when offered to show a basis for an expert opinion. Admission of comparable sales evidence is within the discretion of the trial court. When offered as the basis for an expert's opinion, the extent to which the offered sales are truly comparable goes to the weight of the testimony, not to admissibility. Raddeman v. DOT, 2002 WI App 59
, 252 Wis. 2d 191
, 642 N.W.2d 600
The "existing right of access" under sub. (6) (b) includes the right of an abutting property owner to reasonable ingress and egress. A frontage road might not always constitute "reasonable" access. Whether there is reasonable access depends on the specific facts in a case, to be determined by the jury. National Auto Truckstops v. DOT, 2003 WI 95
, 263 Wis. 2d 649
, 665 N.W.2d 198
When comparable sales are offered as substantive evidence of property value, the other property must be closely comparable to the property being taken. The properties must be located near each other and sufficiently similar in relevant market, usability, improvements, and other characteristics so as to support a finding of comparability. Alsum v. Department of Transportation, 2004 WI App 196
, 276 Wis. 2d 654
, 689 N.W.2d 68
Evidence regarding fear and safety concerns of natural gas transmission pipelines, electrical transmission lines, and oil and gasoline pipelines in partial takings cases is admissible if a qualified expert has successfully drawn the pertinent nexus in the calculation of damages between evidence of that fear and the fair market value of the property being condemned following the taking. Arents v. ANR Pipeline Company, 2005 WI App 61
, 281 Wis. 2d 173
, 696 N.W.2d 194
Evidence of comparable sales is not the only relevant and admissible evidence in determining fair market value when available in a condemnation case. Arents v. ANR Pipeline Company, 2005 WI App 61
, 281 Wis. 2d 173
, 696 N.W.2d 194
The requirement in sub. (6) to consider the "whole property" does not require that an individual assessment always treat contiguous, commonly-owned tax parcels separately or as a single unit, but requires that no portion of the property be left out of an assessment. When the property's highest and best use that affects its present market value is most appropriately appraised by considering the contiguous tax parcels separately, that is the appropriate appraisal method. Conversely, when, the highest and best use is more adequately represented through an appraisal of the property as a single unit, that approach is appropriate. Spiegelberg v. State, 2006 WI 75
, 291 Wis. 2d 601
, 717 N.W.2d 641
Under Wisconsin eminent domain law, courts apply the unit rule, which prohibits valuing individual property interests or aspects separately from the property as a whole. When a parcel of land is taken by eminent domain, the compensation award is for the land itself, not the sum of the different interests therein. Hoekstra v. Guardian Pipeline, LLC, 2006 WI App 245
, 298 Wis. 2d 165
, 726 N.W.2d 648
The lessor under a long-term favorable lease who received no compensation for its leasehold interest under the unit rule when the fair market value of the entire property was determined to be zero was not denied the right to just compensation under Article I, Section 13, of the Wisconsin constitution. City of Milwaukee VFW Post No. 2874 v. Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee, 2009 WI 84
, 319 Wis. 2d 553
, 768 N.W.2d 749
Wisconsin's project influence statute, sub. (5) (b), contains nothing about comparables. It simply states that any increase or decrease in the fair market value of the subject property caused by the public improvement may not be taken into consideration in determining just compensation. Sub. (5) (b) does not create a bright-line rule mandating that when evidence exists of comparable sales not impacted by a public improvement project, any sale alleged to be comparable that was made after the project plans were known that was located in whole or in part within the project footprint must be excluded as a matter of law. Spanbauer v. State, 2009 WI App 83
, 320 Wis. 2d 242
, 769 N.W.2d 137
In easement condemnation cases, property owners are compensated for the loss in fair market value of their whole property. Pre-existing easement rights may be considered by a jury when determining just compensation. The circuit court's exclusion of evidence of existing easement rights was erroneous because evidence of those rights was highly probative of the difference in fair market value of the property before and after the new easement was condemned. Fields v. American Transmission Company, LLC, 2010 WI App 59
, 324 Wis. 2d 417
, 782 N.W.2d 729
Evidence of environmental contamination and of remediation costs is admissible in condemnation proceedings under. ch. 32 so long as it is relevant to the fair market value of the property. A property's environmental contamination and the costs to remediate it are relevant to the property's fair market value if they would influence a prudent purchaser who is willing and able, but not obliged, to buy the property. Liability for environmental contamination has no place in a condemnation proceeding under ch. 32. 260 North 12th Street, LLC v. State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 2011 WI 103
, 338 Wis. 2d 34
, 808 N.W.2d 372
The owner of condemned property is not entitled to the cost of developing functionally equivalent substitute facilities. United States v. 564.54 Acres of Land, 441 U.S. 506
Condemnation proceedings instituted by property owner.
If any property has been occupied by a person possessing the power of condemnation and if the person has not exercised the power, the owner, to institute condemnation proceedings, shall present a verified petition to the circuit judge of the county wherein the land is situated asking that such proceedings be commenced. The petition shall describe the land, state the person against which the condemnation proceedings are instituted and the use to which it has been put or is designed to have been put by the person against which the proceedings are instituted. A copy of the petition shall be served upon the person who has occupied petitioner's land, or interest in land. The petition shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court and thereupon the matter shall be deemed an action at law and at issue, with petitioner as plaintiff and the occupying person as defendant. The court shall make a finding of whether the defendant is occupying property of the plaintiff without having the right to do so. If the court determines that the defendant is occupying such property of the plaintiff without having the right to do so, it shall treat the matter in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter assuming the plaintiff has received from the defendant a jurisdictional offer and has failed to accept the same and assuming the plaintiff is not questioning the right of the defendant to condemn the property so occupied.
History: 1973 c. 170
; Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 575, 749 (1975); 1975 c. 218
; 1977 c. 440
; 1983 a. 236
A cause of action under this section arises prior to the actual condemnation of the property if the complaint alleges facts that indicate the property owner has been deprived of all, or substantially all, of the beneficial use of the property. Howell Plaza, Inc. v. State Highway Comm. 66 Wis. 2d 720
, 226 N.W.2d 185
In order for the petitioner to succeed in the initial stages of an inverse condemnation proceeding, the petitioner must allege facts that, prima facie, at least show there has been either an occupation of its property, or a taking, which must be compensated under the terms of the Wisconsin Constitution. Howell Plaza, Inc. v. State Highway Commission, 66 Wis. 2d 720
, 226 N.W.2d 185
A landowner's petition for inverse condemnation, like a municipality's petition for condemnation, is not subject to demurrer. Revival Center Tabernacle of Battle Creek v. Milwaukee, 68 Wis. 2d 94
, 227 N.W.2d 694
A taking occurred when a city refused to renew a lessee's theater license because of a proposed renewal project encompassing the theater's location, not when the city made a jurisdictional offer. Property is valued as of the date of the taking. Maxey v. Redevelopment Authority of Racine, 94 Wis. 2d 375
, 288 N.W.2d 794
The doctrine of sovereign immunity cannot bar an action for just compensation based on the taking of private property for public use even though the legislature has failed to establish specific provisions for the recovery of just compensation. Zinn v. State, 112 Wis. 2d 417
, 334 N.W.2d 67
A successful plaintiff in an inverse condemnation action was entitled to litigation expenses, which included expenses related to a direct condemnation action. Expenses related to an allocation proceeding under s. 32.11 were not recoverable. Maxey v. Racine Redevelopment Authority, 120 Wis. 2d 13
, 353 N.W.2d 812
(Ct. App. 1984).
The owner of property at the time of a taking is entitled to bring an action for inverse condemnation and need not own the property at the time of the commencement of the action. Riley v. Town of Hamilton, 153 Wis. 2d 582
, 451 N.W.2d 454
(Ct. App. 1989).