Kentucky Eminent Domain Laws

The Eminent Domain Act of Kentucky can be found in chapter 416, title 37 of Kentucky statutes.  Pursuant to KRS § 416.560, prior to the filing of the petition to condemn the condemnor, its agents or employees shall have the right to enter the land sought to be acquired for conducting surveys and tests.  The condemnor shall file a verified petition in the circuit Court of the county in which the property is located[i].  Pursuant to KRS § 416.580, the Circuit Court shall appoint as commissioners three impartial housekeepers of the county.  The commissioners shall view the land and award to the owner an amount which will fairly represent the reduction in the market value of the entire property, said sum being the difference between the market value of the entire property immediately before the taking and the market value of the remainder of the property immediately after the taking thereof, together with the fair rental value of any temporary easements sought to be condemned.  The commissioners shall return a written report to the office of the Circuit Court stating the values of their award[ii].

In response to the summons, the owner shall file an answer or other pleading on or before the 20 days after date of service[iii].  If no answer or other pleading is filed by the owner, the court shall enter an interlocutory judgment which shall contain a finding that the petitioner has the right to condemn the property, a finding that the report of the commissioners conforms to the provisions of KRS 416.580,  an authorization to take possession of the property for the purposes and under the conditions and limitations, if any, set forth in the petition upon payment to the owner or to the clerk of the court the amount of the compensation awarded by the commissioners and proper provision for the conveyance of title to the land and material[iv].

If the owner has filed an answer or a pleading, the court shall, without intervention of jury, proceed forthwith to hear and determine whether or not the petitioner has such a right. If the court determines that the petitioner has such rights, an interlocutory judgment shall be entered.  If the court determines that petitioner does not have such right, it shall enter a final judgment which shall contain a finding that the report of the commissioners conforms to the provisions of KRS 416.580, a finding that the petitioner is not authorized to condemn the property and an order dismissing the petition and directing the petitioner to pay all costs[v].

Pursuant to KRS § 416.660, in all actions for the condemnation of lands, except temporary easements, there shall be awarded to the landowners as compensation such a sum as will fairly represent the difference between the fair market value of the entire tract, all or a portion of which is sought to be condemned, immediately before the taking and the fair market value of the remainder thereof immediately after the taking, including in the remainder all rights which the landowner may retain in the lands sought to be condemned where less than the fee simple interest therein is taken, together with the fair rental value of any temporary easements sought to be condemned.

[i] KRS § 416.570.

[ii] KRS § 416.580.

[iii] KRS § 416.600.

[iv] KRS § 416.610.

[v] Id.


Inside Kentucky Eminent Domain Laws