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Judge could decide relocation costs

Published (3/9/2012)
By Lee Ann Schutz
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Current law provides for relocation assistance funds for those whose property is acquired by a local jurisdiction through eminent domain.

Most of the time the process “works pretty well,” with an acceptable agreement able to be reached by the parties involved, said Kirk Schnitker, an attorney specializing in eminent domain issues. He told the House Civil Law Committee March 5 that HF1833, sponsored by Rep. Denise Dittrich (DFL-Champlin), would provide an opportunity for an administrative judge hearing, if an agreement can’t be reached.

“Relocation appeals are scarce. It happens once or twice a year and the (court) costs are minimal. Most cases are done in a day,” Schnitker said.

The bill would provide for a contested case hearing to determine whether a person is eligible to receive relocation assistance in the first place, if it is denied by the acquiring authority. The administrative law judge’s determination of the amount of the assistance would be final.

The committee approved the bill and moved it to the House floor.

The companion, SF1620, sponsored by Sen. Benjamin Kruse (R-Brooklyn Park), awaits action on the Senate floor.

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