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32.15 32.15 How title in trustee acquired. In case any title or interest in real estate lawfully required by any person having the power of condemnation is vested in any trustee not authorized to sell, release and convey the same or in any minor or person adjudged mentally incompetent, the circuit court may in a summary proceeding authorize and empower such trustee or the general guardian of such minor or person adjudged mentally incompetent to sell and convey the same for the purposes required on such terms as may be just. If such minor or person adjudged mentally incompetent has no general guardian, the court may appoint a special guardian for such sale, release or conveyance. The court may require from such trustee, or general or special guardian, such security as it deems proper before any conveyance or release authorized in this section is executed. The terms of the same shall be reported to the court on oath. If the court is satisfied that such terms are just to the party interested in such real estate, it shall confirm the report and direct the conveyance or release to be executed. Such conveyance or release shall have the same effect as if executed by one having legal power to sell and convey the land.
32.15 History History: 1977 c. 83.
32.16 32.16 Abandonment of easements for public use. An easement for public use acquired by gift or purchase or by condemnation under this subchapter shall not be deemed abandoned on the grounds of nonuser thereof for any period less than that prescribed in the applicable statutes of limitations in ch. 893. Nothing contained in this section shall be presumed to adversely affect any highway right possessed by the state or any county or municipality thereof.
32.16 History History: 1983 a. 236 s. 12.
32.17 32.17 General provisions.
32.17(1)(1) Where power of condemnation is given to a state officer the title acquired shall be in the name of the state. Payments of the costs and expenses of such condemnation shall be paid from the appropriation covering the purposes for which the property is acquired.
32.17(2) (2) Any condemnation proceedings authorized under any local or special law of this state, except those applicable to cities of the 1st class, shall be conducted under the procedure provided in this subchapter.
32.17(3) (3) Where disbursements and costs, including expert witness fees and reasonable actual attorney fees in case of abandonment of proceedings by the condemnor are recoverable from a condemnor under this subchapter, they shall be recoverable from the state or any of its agencies when the state or such agency is the condemnor.
32.17 History History: 1983 s. 236 s. 12; 1993 a. 490.
32.18 32.18 Damage caused by change of grade of street or highway where no land is taken; claim; right of action. Where a street or highway improvement project undertaken by the department of transportation, a county, city, town or village, causes a change of the grade of such street or highway in cases where such grade was not previously fixed by city, village or town ordinance, but does not require a taking of any abutting lands, the owner of such lands at the date of such change of grade may file with the department of transportation in the case of state trunk highways, a county in the case of county highways or the city, town or village, causing such change of grade to be effected, whichever has jurisdiction over the street or highway, a claim for any damages to said lands occasioned by such change of grade. Special benefits may be offset against any claims for damages under this section. Such claim shall be filed within 90 days following the completion of said project; if allowed, it shall be paid in the case of the department of transportation, out of the state highway funds, otherwise, out of the funds of the respective county, city, village or town against which the claim is made as the case may be. If it is not allowed within 90 days after such date of filing it shall be deemed denied. Thereupon such owner may within 90 days following such denial commence an action against the department of transportation, the city, county, village or town as the case may be, to recover any damages to the lands shown to have resulted from such change of grade. Any judgment recovered against the department of transportation shall be paid out of the state highway funds, otherwise out of the funds of city, county, village or town against which the judgment is recovered. Where a grade has been established by ordinance, the property owner's remedy shall be as provided by municipal law. This section shall in no way contravene, limit or restrict s. 88.87.
32.18 History History: 1977 c. 29 s. 1654 (8) (c); 1977 c. 273.
32.18 Annotation A municipality may not initiate the running of the second 90-day period by affirmatively denying a claim within the first 90-day period. A claimant has 180 days from the filing of the original claim to commence legal action. Johnson v. City of Onalaska, 153 Wis. 2d 611, 451 N.W.2d 466 (Ct. App. 1989).
32.18 Annotation The state was not a proper party for claims against the Department of Transportation as the two are distinct legal entities. Service on the state of a summons and complaint that named the state and not the DOT as a party does not constitute service on the DOT necessary to establish personal jurisdiction over the DOT. Hoops Enterprises, III, LLC v. Super Western, Inc. 2013 WI App 7, 345 Wis. 2d 733, 827 N.W.2d 120, 12-0062.
32.185 32.185 Condemnor. "Condemnor", for the purposes of ss. 32.19 to 32.27, means any municipality, board, commission, public officer or corporation vested with the power of eminent domain which acquires property for public purposes either by negotiated purchase when authorized by statute to employ its powers of eminent domain or by the power of eminent domain. "Condemnor" also means a displacing agency. In this section, "displacing agency" means any state agency, political subdivision of the state or person carrying out a program or project with public financial assistance that causes a person to be a displaced person, as defined in s. 32.19 (2) (e).
32.185 History History: 1975 c. 224; 1987 a. 399.
32.185 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also s. Adm 92.001, Wis. adm. code.
32.19 32.19 Additional items payable.
32.19(1) (1) Declaration of purpose. The legislature declares that it is in the public interest that persons displaced by any public project be fairly compensated by payment for the property acquired and other losses hereinafter described and suffered as the result of programs designed for the benefit of the public as a whole; and the legislature further finds and declares that, notwithstanding subch. II, or any other provision of law, payment of such relocation assistance and assistance in the acquisition of replacement housing are proper costs of the construction of public improvements. If the public improvement is funded in whole or in part by a nonlapsible trust, the relocation payments and assistance constitute a purpose for which the fund of the trust is accountable.
32.19(2) (2)Definitions. In this section and ss. 32.25 to 32.27:
32.19(2)(a) (a) "Business" means any lawful activity, excepting a farm operation, conducted primarily:
32.19(2)(a)1. 1. For the purchase, sale, lease or rental of personal and real property, and for the manufacture, processing, or marketing of products, commodities, or any other personal property;
32.19(2)(a)2. 2. For the sale of services to the public;
32.19(2)(a)3. 3. By a nonprofit organization; or
32.19(2)(a)4. 4. Solely for the purpose of sub. (3) for assisting in the purchase, sale, resale, manufacture, processing, or marketing of products, commodities, personal property, or services by the erection and maintenance of an outdoor advertising display or displays, whether or not such display or displays are located on the premises on which any of the above activities are conducted.
32.19(2)(b) (b) "Comparable dwelling" means one which, when compared with the dwelling being taken, is substantially equal concerning all major characteristics and functionally equivalent with respect to: the number and size of rooms and closets, area of living space, type of construction, age, state of repair, size and utility of any garage or other outbuilding, type of neighborhood and accessibility to public services and places of employment. "Comparable dwelling" shall meet all of the standard building requirements and other code requirements of the local governmental body and shall also be decent, safe and sanitary and within the financial means of the displaced person, as defined by the department of administration.
32.19(2)(c) (c) "Comparable replacement business" means a replacement business which, when compared with the business premises being acquired by the condemnor, is adequate for the needs of the business, is reasonably similar in all major characteristics, is functionally equivalent with respect to condition, state of repair, land area, building square footage required, access to transportation, utilities and public service, is available on the market, meets all applicable federal, state or local codes required of the particular business being conducted, is within reasonable proximity of the business acquired and is suited for the same type of business conducted by the acquired business at the time of acquisition.
32.19(2)(d) (d) "Comparable replacement farm operation" means a replacement farm operation which, when compared with the farm operation being acquired by the condemnor, is adequate for the needs of the farmer, is reasonably similar in all major characteristics, is functionally equivalent with respect to type of farm operation, condition and state of repair of farm buildings, soil quality, yield per acre, land area, access to transportation, utilities and public services, is within reasonable proximity of the acquired farm operation, is available on the market, meets all applicable federal, state or local codes required of the particular farm operation acquired and is suited for the same type of farming operation conducted by the displaced person at the time of acquisition.
32.19(2)(e)1.1. "Displaced person" means, except as provided under subd. 2., any person who moves from real property or who moves his or her personal property from real property:
32.19(2)(e)1.a. a. As a direct result of a written notice of intent to acquire or the acquisition of the real property, in whole or in part or subsequent to the issuance of a jurisdictional offer under this subchapter, for public purposes; or
32.19(2)(e)1.b. b. As a result of rehabilitation, demolition or other displacing activity, as determined by the department of administration, if the person is a tenant-occupant of a dwelling, business or farm operation and the displacement is permanent.
32.19(2)(e)2. 2. "Displaced person" does not include:
32.19(2)(e)2.a. a. Any person determined to be unlawfully occupying the property or to have occupied the property solely for the purpose of obtaining assistance under ss. 32.19 to 32.27; or
32.19(2)(e)2.b. b. Any person, other than a person who is an occupant of the property at the time it is acquired, who occupies the property on a rental basis for a short term or a period subject to termination when the property is needed for the program or project for which it is being acquired.
32.19(2)(f) (f) "Farm operation" means any activity conducted solely or primarily for the production of one or more agricultural products or commodities for sale and home use, and customarily producing such products or commodities in sufficient quantity to be capable of contributing materially to the operator's support.
32.19(2)(g) (g) "Owner displaced person" means a displaced person who owned the real property being acquired and also owned the business or farm operation conducted on the real property being acquired.
32.19(2)(h) (h) "Person" means:
32.19(2)(h)1. 1. Any individual, partnership, limited liability company, corporation or association which owns a business concern; or
32.19(2)(h)2. 2. Any owner, part owner, tenant or sharecropper operating a farm; or
32.19(2)(h)3. 3. An individual who is the head of a family; or
32.19(2)(h)4. 4. An individual not a member of a family, except that 2 or more tenant occupants of the same dwelling unit shall be considered as one person.
32.19(2)(i) (i) "Tenant displaced person" means a displaced person who owned the business or farm operation conducted on the real property being acquired but leased or rented the real property.
32.19(2m) (2m)Information on payments. Before initiating negotiations to acquire the property under s. 32.05 (2a), 32.06 (2a) or subch. II, the condemnor shall provide displaced persons with copies of applicable pamphlets prepared under s. 32.26 (6).
32.19(3) (3)Relocation payments. Any condemnor which proceeds with the acquisition of real and personal property for purposes of any project for which the power of condemnation may be exercised, or undertakes a program or project that causes a person to be a displaced person, shall make fair and reasonable relocation payments to displaced persons, business concerns and farm operations under this section. Payments shall be made as follows:
32.19(3)(a) (a) Moving expenses; actual. The condemnor shall compensate a displaced person for the actual and reasonable expenses of moving the displaced person and his or her family, business or farm operation, including personal property; actual direct losses of tangible personal property as a result of moving or discontinuing a business or farm operation, but not to exceed an amount equal to the reasonable expenses that would have been required to relocate such property; actual reasonable expenses in searching for a replacement business or farm operation; and actual reasonable expenses necessary to reestablish a business or farm operation, not to exceed $10,000, unless compensation for such expenses is included in the payment provided under sub. (4m).
32.19(3)(b) (b) Moving expenses; optional fixed payments.
32.19(3)(b)1.1. `Dwellings.' Any displaced person who moves from a dwelling and who elects to accept the payments authorized by this paragraph in lieu of the payments authorized by par. (a) may receive an expense and dislocation allowance, determined according to a schedule established by the department of administration.
32.19(3)(b)2. 2. `Business and farm operations.' Any displaced person who moves or discontinues his or her business or farm operation, is eligible under criteria established by the department of administration by rule and elects to accept payment authorized under this paragraph in lieu of the payment authorized under par. (a), may receive a fixed payment in an amount determined according to criteria established by the department of administration by rule, except that such payment shall not be less than $1,000 nor more than $20,000. A person whose sole business at the displacement dwelling is the rental of such property to others is not eligible for a payment under this subdivision.
32.19(3)(c) (c) Optional payment for businesses. Any displaced person who moves his or her business, and elects to accept the payment authorized in par. (a), may, if otherwise qualified under par. (b) 2., elect to receive the payment authorized under par. (b) 2., minus whatever payment the displaced person received under par. (a), if the displaced person discontinues the business within 2 years of the date of receipt of payment under par. (a), provided that the displaced person meets eligibility criteria established by the department of administration by rule. In no event may the total combined payment be less than $1,000 nor more than $20,000.
32.19(4) (4)Replacement housing.
32.19(4)(a)(a) Owner-occupants. In addition to amounts otherwise authorized by this subchapter, the condemnor shall make a payment, not to exceed $25,000, to any displaced person who is displaced from a dwelling actually owned and occupied, or from a mobile home site actually owned or occupied, by the displaced person for not less than 180 days prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of the property. For the purposes of this paragraph, a corporation organized under ch. 181 that is a nonprofit corporation, as defined in s. 181.0103 (17), may, if otherwise eligible, be considered a displaced owner. A displaced owner may elect to receive the payment under par. (b) 1. in lieu of the payment under this paragraph. Such payment includes only the following:
32.19(4)(a)1. 1. The amount, if any, which when added to the acquisition payment, equals the reasonable cost of a comparable replacement dwelling available on the private market, as determined by the condemnor.
32.19(4)(a)1m. 1m. In the case of a person displaced from a mobile home site who meets one of the conditions under subd. 1m. a., b. or c., the amount, if any, which when added to the trade-in or salvage value of the mobile home equals the reasonable cost of a comparable mobile home which is decent, safe and sanitary, plus an amount equal to 48 times the difference between the monthly rent being paid for the site on which the mobile home is located and the monthly rent for a comparable mobile home site or the amount necessary to enable the displaced person to make a down payment on the purchase of a comparable mobile home site. If a comparable mobile home dwelling is not available, the replacement housing payment shall be calculated on the basis of the next highest type of mobile home or a conventional dwelling that is available and meets the requirements and standards for a comparable dwelling. The owner of a mobile home shall be eligible for payments under this subdivision if one of the following conditions is met:
32.19(4)(a)1m.a. a. The mobile home is not considered to be a decent, safe and sanitary dwelling unit.
32.19(4)(a)1m.b. b. The structural condition of the mobile home is such that it cannot be moved without substantial damage or unreasonable cost.
32.19(4)(a)1m.c. c. There are no adequate or available replacement sites to which the mobile home can be moved.
32.19(4)(a)2. 2. The amount of increased interest expenses and other debt service costs incurred by the owner to finance the purchase of another property substantially similar to the property taken, if at the time of the taking the land acquired was subject to a bona fide mortgage or was held under a vendee's interest in a bona fide land contract, and such mortgage or land contract had been executed in good faith not less than 180 days prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of such property. The computation of the increased interest costs shall be determined according to rules promulgated by the department of administration.
32.19(4)(a)3. 3. Reasonable incidental fees, commissions, discounts, surveying costs, title evidence costs and other closing costs incurred in the purchase of replacement housing, but not including prepaid expenses.
32.19(4)(ag) (ag) Limitation. Payment under par. (a) shall be made only to a displaced person who purchases and occupies a decent, safe and sanitary replacement dwelling not later than one year after the date on which the person moves from the dwelling acquired for the project, or the date on which the person receives payment from the condemnor, whichever is later, except that the condemnor may extend the period for good cause. If the period is extended, payment under par. (a) shall be based on the costs of relocating the displaced person to a comparable replacement dwelling within one year of the date on which the person moves from the dwelling acquired for the project.
32.19(4)(b) (b) Tenants and certain others. In addition to amounts otherwise authorized by this subchapter, the condemnor shall make a payment to any individual or family displaced from any dwelling which was actually and lawfully occupied by such individual or family for not less than 90 days prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of such property or, if displacement is not a direct result of acquisition, such other event as determined by the department of administration by rule. For purposes of this paragraph, a corporation organized under ch. 181 that is a nonprofit corporation, as defined in s. 181.0103 (17), may, if otherwise eligible, be considered a displaced tenant. Subject to the limitations under par. (bm), such payment shall be either:
32.19(4)(b)1. 1. The amount, if any, which, when added to the rental cost of the acquired dwelling, equals the reasonable cost of leasing or renting a comparable dwelling available on the private market for a period not to exceed 4 years, as determined by the condemnor, but not to exceed $8,000; or
32.19(4)(b)2. 2. If the person elects to purchase a comparable dwelling, the amount determined under subd. 1. plus expenses under par. (a) 3.
32.19(4)(bm) (bm) Limitations.
32.19(4)(bm)1.1. Payment under par. (b) shall be made only to a displaced person who rents, leases or purchases a decent, safe and sanitary replacement dwelling and occupies that dwelling not later than one year after the date on which the person moves from the displacement dwelling, except that the condemnor may extend the period for good cause.
32.19(4)(bm)2. 2. If a displaced person occupied the dwelling acquired for at least 90 days but not more than 180 days prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of the property, the payment under par. (b) may not exceed the amount the displaced person would receive if the displaced person was eligible for a payment under par. (a).
32.19(4)(c) (c) Additional payment. If a comparable dwelling is not available within the monetary limits established in par. (a) or (b), the condemnor may exceed the monetary limits and make payments necessary to provide a comparable dwelling.
32.19(4m) (4m)Business or farm replacement payment.
32.19(4m)(a)(a) Owner-occupied business or farm operation. In addition to amounts otherwise authorized by this subchapter, the condemnor shall make a payment, not to exceed $50,000, to any owner displaced person who has owned and occupied the business operation, or owned the farm operation, for not less than one year prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of the real property on which the business or farm operation lies, and who actually purchases a comparable replacement business or farm operation for the acquired property within 2 years after the date the person vacates the acquired property or receives payment from the condemnor, whichever is later. An owner displaced person who has owned and occupied the business operation, or owned the farm operation, for not less than one year prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of the real property on which the business or farm operation lies may elect to receive the payment under par. (b) 1. in lieu of the payment under this paragraph, but the amount of payment under par. (b) 1. to such an owner displaced person may not exceed the amount the owner displaced person is eligible to receive under this paragraph. The additional payment under this paragraph shall include the following amounts:
32.19(4m)(a)1. 1. The amount, if any, which when added to the acquisition cost of the property, other than any dwelling on the property, equals the reasonable cost of a comparable replacement business or farm operation for the acquired property, as determined by the condemnor.
32.19(4m)(a)2. 2. The amount, if any, which will compensate such owner displaced person for any increased interest and other debt service costs which such person is required to pay for financing the acquisition of any replacement property, if the property acquired was encumbered by a bona fide mortgage or land contract which was a valid lien on the property for at least one year prior to the initiation of negotiations for its acquisition. The amount under this subdivision shall be determined according to rules promulgated by the department of administration.
32.19(4m)(a)3. 3. Reasonable expenses incurred by the displaced person for evidence of title, recording fees and other closing costs incident to the purchase of the replacement property, but not including prepaid expenses.
32.19(4m)(b) (b) Tenant-occupied business or farm operation. In addition to amounts otherwise authorized by this subchapter, the condemnor shall make a payment to any tenant displaced person who has owned and occupied the business operation, or owned the farm operation, for not less than one year prior to initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of the real property on which the business or farm operation lies or, if displacement is not a direct result of acquisition, such other event as determined by the department of administration, and who actually rents or purchases a comparable replacement business or farm operation for the displaced business or farm operation within 2 years after the date the person vacates the acquired property. At the option of the tenant displaced person, such payment shall be either:
32.19(4m)(b)1. 1. The amount, not to exceed $30,000, which is necessary to lease or rent a comparable replacement business or farm operation for a period of 4 years. The payment shall be computed by determining the average monthly rent paid for the property from which the person was displaced for the 12 months prior to the initiation of negotiations or, if displacement is not a direct result of acquisition, such other event as determined by the department of administration and the monthly rent of a comparable replacement business or farm operation, and multiplying the difference by 48; or
32.19(4m)(b)2. 2. If the tenant displaced person elects to purchase a comparable replacement business or farm operation, the amount determined under subd. 1. plus expenses under par. (a) 3.
32.19(5) (5)Eminent domain. Nothing in this section or ss. 32.25 to 32.27 shall be construed as creating in any condemnation proceedings brought under the power of eminent domain, any element of damages.
32.19 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also s. Adm 92.001, Wis. adm. code.
32.19 Annotation Owners of rental property who do not physically occupy the real property taken for public use are ineligible for business replacement payments under sub. (4m). A business that owned a parking lot used for customer and employee parking was an occupants of the lot and a displaced person under sub. (2) (e) eligible for relocation benefits under s. 32.05 (8). City of Milwaukee v. Roadster LLC, 2003 WI App 131, 265 Wis. 2d 518, 666 N.W.2d 524, 02-3102.
32.19 Annotation Both statutory and administrative code provisions contemplate that the initial offer of a replacement housing payment is not static in amount. These provisions contemplate a more dynamic approach, allowing for recomputation of the payment after the acquisition damages have been more fully assessed. Pinczkowski v. Milwaukee County, 2005 WI 161, 286 Wis. 2d 339, 706 N.W.2d 642, 03-1732.
32.19 Annotation Sub. (2) (c) does not require: 1) identification of a property that is identical to the property condemned; or 2) that at the moment of identification, the property, without modification, can be used by the business that was relocated. Rather, it requires identification of a property that with modification can be used for the occupier's business. A condemnor has no open-ended obligation to provide a replacement property that is acceptable to the business being relocated. City of Janesville v. CC Midwest, Inc. 2007 WI 93, 302 Wis. 2d 599; 734 N.W.2d 428, 04-0267.
32.19 Annotation The definition of "displaced person" in sub. (2) (e) 1. b. provides that a "displaced person" is one whose move is prompted by "rehabilitation, demolition, or other displacing activity" and is an alternative to in sub. (2) (e) 1. a., which contains no reference to the physical condition or habitability of the condemned property, and instead defines "displaced person" in terms of "direct" causation. Sub. sub. (2) (e) 1. b. contains no explicit requirement that a person's move must be "forced" or involuntary in order to render that person "displaced." Waller v. American Transmission Company, LLC, 2013 WI 77, 350 Wis. 2d 242, 833 N.W.2d 764, 12-0805.
32.19 Annotation State debt financing of relocation payments is permissible under art. VIII, s. 7 (2) (a). 62 Atty. Gen. 42.
32.19 Annotation Relocation benefits and services, when an owner initiates negotiations for the acquisition, is discussed. 62 Atty. Gen. 168.
32.19 Annotation State agencies engaging in advance land acquisitions must comply with this section et seq., Wisconsin's relocation assistance and payment law. 63 Atty. Gen. 201.
32.19 Annotation Wisconsin condemnors are not bound by the federal relocation act. Relocation assistance and payments to displaced persons must be made in accordance with ss. 32.19 to 32.27. Unrelated individuals who share a common dwelling for convenience sake without a common head of the household are persons under this section. 63 Atty. Gen. 229.
32.19 Annotation Religious societies incorporated under ch. 187 are "persons" within the meaning of the relocation assistance act and are entitled to the benefits of the act if they otherwise qualify. 63 Atty. Gen. 578.
32.19 Annotation An owner of rental property, regardless of its size, is engaged in "business" under sub. (2) (d) [now sub. (2) (a)]. 69 Atty. Gen. 11.
32.19 Annotation Owners of rental property who do not physically occupy real property taken for public use are not eligible for business replacement payments under sub. (4m). 69 Atty. Gen. 263.
32.19 Annotation Condemnors may not offer displaced persons a loan or alternative assistance in lieu of payments. Condemnors may not obtain waivers of benefits as a condition for participation in acquisition program. 70 Atty. Gen. 94.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before June 30, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after July 1, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 7-1-14)