Nevada Eminent Domain Laws

Nevada Eminent Domain Laws can be found in Chapter 37 of Nevada Revised Statutes.  Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.0095 provides that only a public agency may exercise the power of eminent domain.  Public agency means an agency or political subdivision of Nevada or the U.S[i].

Pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.010, the right of eminent domain may be exercised for the following public uses:

  • Federal activities.
  • State activities.
  • County, city, town and school district activities.
  • Bridges, toll roads, railroads, street railways and similar uses.
  • Ditches, canals, aqueducts for smelting, domestic uses, irrigation and reclamation.
  • Mining, smelting and related activities.
  • Byroads.
  • Public utilities.
  • Sewerage.
  • Water for generation and transmission of electricity.
  • Cemeteries, public parks.
  • Pipelines of beet sugar industry.
  • Pipelines for petroleum products, natural gas.
  • Aviation.
  • Monorails.
  • Video service providers.
  • Redevelopment.

The State of Nevada or any political subdivision or district which possesses the power of eminent domain may, in addition to other uses for which the power may be exercised, exercise the power of eminent domain for the purpose of providing necessary access for the owners or occupants thereof to ranges and grazing lands[ii].

If land is required for public use, the person, corporation, partnership, or its agents in charge of the use may survey and locate it.  The land must be located in the manner most compatible with the greatest public good and the least private injury[iii].

Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.050 provides that if the owner or occupant of the land fails or refuses to permit entry on the land, the person, corporation, or partnership may petition the district court of the county in which the land is situated for an order permitting entry on the land for those purposes.

Pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.060, all proceedings brought to exercise the right of eminent domain must be brought in the district court for the county in which the property or a part thereof is situated.

Also, all proceedings in all courts brought to exercise the right of eminent domain take precedence over all other causes and actions not involving the public interest, to conform to the requirement that all such proceedings must be quickly heard and determined[iv].

Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.075 provides that a summons should be served with the complaint as in civil actions and should contain a direction that the defendant appear and answer the complaint within thirty days after service of the summons and complaint, and further direction that unless the defendant so appears and answers, the plaintiff will be entitled to a judgment of condemnation by default.

All persons in occupation of, or having or claiming an interest in, any of the property described in the complaint, or in the damages for the taking thereof, though not named, may appear, plead and defend, each in respect to his/her own property or interest, or that claimed by him, in like manner as if named in the complaint[v].

Before the plaintiff obtains possession of the property, the plaintiff should give to the owner of the property a copy of all appraisals of the property obtained by the plaintiff[vi].

The court, jury, commissioners, or master must hear legal testimony as may be offered by any of the parties to the proceedings, and thereupon must ascertain and assess[vii]:

  • The value of the property sought to be condemned and all improvements thereon pertaining to the realty, and of each and every separate estate or interest therein; if it consists of different parcels, the value of each parcel and of each estate or interest therein shall be separately assessed.
  • If the property sought to be condemned constitutes only a part of a large parcel, the damages which will accrue to the portion not sought to be condemned, by reason of its severance from the portion sought to be condemned, and the construction of the improvement in the manner proposed by the plaintiff.
  • If the property will be damaged by the construction of the proposed improvement, even though no part is taken, the amount of such damages.
  • Separately, how much the portion not sought to be condemned, and each estate or interest therein, will be benefited, if at all, by the construction of the improvement proposed by the plaintiff.
  • If the property sought to be condemned be for a railroad, the cost of good and sufficient fences along the line of such railroad between such railroad and other adjoining lands of the defendant; and the costs of cattle guards where fences may cross the line of such railroads.

Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.140 provides that the plaintiff must pay the sum of money assessed within thirty days after final judgment.

[i] Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.0095.

[ii] Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.015.

[iii] Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.050.

[iv] Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.055.

[v] Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.080.

[vi] Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.100.

[vii] Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37.110.


Inside Nevada Eminent Domain Laws