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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 125
Proceedings to condemn
Public Housing (PBG) CHAPTER 44-A, ARTICLE 7
§ 125. Proceedings to condemn. 1. To initiate a condemnation
proceeding, an authority may adopt a resolution describing the property
and declaring that the acquisition of the property is in the public
interest and necessary for the public use, and that the property sought
to be condemned is or will be required for a project. A certified copy
of the authority's resolution shall be conclusive evidence as to the
matters contained therein in any condemnation proceeding to acquire the
property, or any part thereof, described in such resolution.

2. An authority may exercise the power of condemnation pursuant to the
provisions of the eminent domain procedure law.

3. An authority may petition the municipality to institute proceedings
under any applicable general, special or local law, to acquire property
described in the petition which the authority has certified to be
necessary for a project. The resolution granting the petition shall set
forth the amount to be paid by the authority to the municipality for
such property or in lieu thereof that the authority shall pay to the
municipality all sums expended or required to be expended by the
municipality in the acquisition thereof, and the time of payment and
manner of securing payment thereof, and may require that the
municipality shall receive, before proceeding with the acquisition of
such property, such assurances as to payment or reimbursement by the
authority or otherwise as the municipality may deem advisable. Upon the
passage of a resolution by the local legislative body of the
municipality granting the petition, the authority shall cause three
copies of surveys or maps of the property described in the petition to
be made, one of which shall be filed in the office of the authority, one
in the office of the corporation counsel or chief law officer of the
municipality, and one in the office in which instruments affecting real
property in the county are recorded. The filing of such copies of
surveys or maps shall be conclusive evidence of the acceptance by the
authority of the terms and conditions of such resolution. The
municipality may proceed under the eminent domain procedure law to
acquire title to such property. When title to the property shall have
vested in the municipality, it shall convey the same to the authority
upon payment by the authority of the sums and the giving of the security
required by the resolution granting the petition. As soon as title shall
have vested in the municipality, the authority may, upon the
authorization of the mayor, enter upon the property taken, take over and
dispose of existing improvements, and carry out the terms of the project
with respect thereto. Whenever in connection with condemnation
proceedings, requirement is made in any applicable general, special or
local law for the performance of an act by a department or officer of
the municipality, it shall be regarded for the purposes of this section
as compliance therewith if with the approval of the mayor such act is
performed by the authority or by persons specially designated by it.

4. In any proceedings for the assessment of compensation and damages
for property taken or to be taken by condemnation by or for an
authority, the following provisions shall be applicable:

(a) Evidence of the price and other terms upon any sale or the rent
received or reserved, whichever is less, and other terms upon any
option, lease or tenancy relating to any of the property taken or to be
taken or to any similar property in the vicinity when the option, sale
or lease was given, occurred or the tenancy existed, within a reasonable
time of the trial, shall be admissible on direct examination. At any
stage of the proceeding, the court or tribunal may require such prior
notice to be given of an intention to introduce evidence as to the sale,
option, leasing or tenancy of property other than the property directly
involved in the proceeding and of particulars relating thereto as it may
deem necessary to prevent surprise.

(b) The deposition of any person, whether or not a party, may be taken
in the manner provided for any civil action and the provisions of this
section. Such deposition may be taken upon any question or issue in the
proceeding, including the facts as to any sale, option, lease or tenancy
admissible in evidence pursuant to this subdivision. The deposition may
be taken at the instance of the authority, the municipality or of any
owner or at the direction of the court, at any time during the pendency
of the action or proceeding. At least five days' notice, or if service
is through the mails, at least eight days' notice, shall be given of the
taking of the testimony, if on the part of an owner, to the authority
and to all other owners who have appeared in the proceeding; if by the
authority or a municipality, to all owners who have appeared in the
proceeding.

(c) Any time during the pendency of such action or proceedings, an
authority, municipality or an owner may apply to the court for an order
directing an owner or the authority or the municipality, as the case may
be, to show cause why further proceedings should not be expedited, and
the court may upon such application make an order requiring that the
hearings proceed and that any other steps be taken with all possible
expedition.

(d) For the purposes of this article, the award of compensation shall
not be increased by reason of any increase in the value of the property
caused by the clearance, reconstruction or proposed clearance or
reconstruction for the purposes of this chapter of the property or of
the area in which the property is situated. No allowance shall be made
for improvements begun on property after notice to the owner of such
property of the institution of the proceedings to condemn such property.

(e) Evidence shall be admissible bearing upon the insanitary, unsafe
or substandard condition of the premises, or the illegal use thereof, or
the enhancement of rentals from such illegal use, and such evidence may
be considered in fixing the compensation to be paid, notwithstanding
that no steps to remedy or abate such conditions have been taken by the
department or officers having jurisdiction. If a violation order is on
file against the premises in any such department, it shall constitute
prima facie evidence of the existence of the condition specified in such
order.

(f) If any of the property included within the project is devoted to a
public use, it may nevertheless be acquired provided that no property
belonging to the municipality or to any government may be acquired
without its consent, and no property belonging to a public utility
corporation may be acquired without the approval of the commission or
other officer or tribunal having regulatory power over such corporation.

(g) Upon the trial, evidence of the price and other terms upon a sale
or assignment or of a contract for the sale or assignment of a mortgage,
award, proposed award, transfer of a tax lien or lien of a judgment
relating to property taken, shall be relevant, material and competent,
upon the issue of value or damage and shall be admissible on direct
examination.

(h) Upon the trial a statement, affidavit, deposition, report,
transcript of testimony in an action or proceeding, or appraisal made or
given by any owner or prior owner of the premises taken, or by any
person on his behalf, to any court, governmental bureau, department or
agency respecting the value of the property for tax purposes, shall be
relevant, material and competent upon the issue of value or damage and
shall be admissible on direct examination.

(i) The term "owner", as used in this section, shall include a person
having an estate, interest or easement in the property to be acquired or
a lien, charge or encumbrance thereon.