Skip to main content

Mississippi Code Title 51. Waters, Water Resources, Water Districts, Drainage, and Flood Control § 51-29-39. Alternative method for acquiring lands

Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes, a free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes, visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.

In lieu of the method provided in Sections 51-29-29 through 51-29-35 for acquiring land and making compensation for damages, the drainage commissioners may adopt the following method for acquiring lands and making compensation for damages, to wit:

The commissioners may, at any time after the organization of the district, appraise the value of any land taken or to be taken for the purposes of the proposed improvement, according to the plans of the district on file, and the damages resulting to the owners from such taking.  The board may specify, in case of any property, the particular purpose for which and the extent to which easement is desired, and the assessment of property in such case shall represent only the damages resulting from the use so specified.  They may make a complete appraisement of all such lands, taken or to be taken, at one time, or at any time make appraisements as it becomes necessary or desirable.  When the commissioners have made their appraisement of lands taken, they shall certify to the same and file it with the clerk of the chancery court of the county in which the land lies.  The court, or chancellor in vacation, shall enter an order designating the date, time, and place for the hearing of objections to such appraisement, either at a regular term of the court or in vacation.  The clerk shall issue a summons directed to the sheriff of the county or counties of the state in which any landowner or other person interested may reside, commanding him to summon such owner or owners or interested persons to appear at the time and place named.  If the owner of any land sought to be taken is an infant or person of unsound mind, the summons may be served on his guardian;  and the guardian in such cases is authorized, subject to the approval of the chancellor in termtime or vacation, to sell and convey such property and dedicate it thus to the public use, or he may agree upon the damages and thereby bind the ward.  If there is no guardian in such case, the chancellor in vacation may, on application of anyone in interest, appoint a guardian ad litem to represent such infant or person of unsound mind, whose acts and doings in the premises shall be valid and binding on the ward.  The chancellor may require a bond of such guardian ad litem.  The clerk of the court shall notify the guardian ad litem of his appointment and the amount of bond required, if any, by certified mail sent to the post office address of the guardian.  If the owner of such land is a nonresident of the state or cannot be found, or if the owner is unknown, and this shall apply to any person interested, upon affidavit to that fact being made by the commissioners or by their agent or attorney, service of the summons may be delivered to any of his agents in charge of the land;  or publication shall be made in the manner provided by law for publication for nonresident and unknown parties in chancery suits.  If the land belongs to a deceased person whose estate is being administered, the summons may be served upon the executor or administrator, who shall, for all purposes of this chapter, be authorized to act for the owner, and shall be responsible on his bond accordingly.  Such notice, when published, need only state that the hearing will be for the purpose of confirming the report of the commissioners as to the appraisement of land taken for the use of the district.  The notice shall contain the names of the owners or persons interested in such land and their post office address, if known, and if unknown, that fact shall be so stated, and shall contain a list of the land, described by section numbers, belonging to such nonresident owners through which the ditches of the district are to run, or which such lands are to be taken for the uses of the district.

If any owner is not satisfied with the amount allowed by the commissioners for lands taken by reason of the construction of such proposed system according to the plans of the district, he shall file with the clerk of the court written objections, in specific terms, prior to the time designated for the hearing.

If no written objections are filed, a decree confirming the appraisement shall be rendered, and upon payment of the amount to the chancery clerk, the commissioners of the district may enter upon and take possession of the property and appropriate it to the public use of the district and the title of the property shall thereupon vest in the district.  The clerk shall receipt upon the decree for the money paid, and the decree with the receipt thereon shall be recorded.

If written objections are filed prior to the time set for the hearing, the court or chancellor in vacation shall proceed to hear the objections filed, trying the cause or causes without the intervention of a jury.

No judgment by default shall be entered against an owner or person interested residing in this state unless it appears that he has been duly served with summons at least thirty (30) days before the return day, and no judgment by default shall be rendered against any nonresident or unknown person or persons interested unless proper publication has been made.

Cite this article: - Mississippi Code Title 51. Waters, Water Resources, Water Districts, Drainage, and Flood Control § 51-29-39. Alternative method for acquiring lands - last updated January 01, 2018 |

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Was this helpful?

Thank you. Your response has been sent.

Copied to clipboard