Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 25.1. Eminent Domain
Chapter 2. Condemnation Procedures
4/15/2021

§ 25.1-219. Pretrial settlement conference; determination of preliminary issues; fixing date of trial on issue of just compensation.

A. The owner or the petitioner in any condemnation proceeding may request and, if requested, the court shall order a pretrial settlement conference. Such conference shall be conducted by a neutral third party, if available. Such conference may be requested at any time by either the owner or the petitioner. If requested, such conference shall be held within the 30 days preceding the scheduled trial date. If such a conference is ordered, the court shall order both parties to appear with counsel, if any, and the parties shall appear with settlement authority. All settlement conferences conducted pursuant to this provision shall be nonbinding. If settlement is not reached, the matter shall proceed to trial as set upon the docket.

B. At the hearing upon the petition and application for either the appointment of commissioners or the empanelment of a jury made in accordance with § 25.1-209, if no answer and grounds of defense has been filed objecting to the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case and to proceed with the appointment of commissioners or the empanelment of a jury, the court shall enter an order fixing a date for the trial of the issue of just compensation and stating that such issue shall be determined by a commission, by a jury or by the court, as provided in § 25.1-220. If any answer and grounds of defense has been filed objecting to the jurisdiction of the court, the court shall determine such issues or other matters in controversy, excepting the issue of just compensation or matters relating to the ownership of any land or other property or the interests of any party in such land or other property before fixing a date for the trial of the issue of just compensation.

C. If the court determines all such issues or other matters involving the jurisdiction of the court in favor of the petitioner, the court shall enter an order fixing a date for the trial of the issue of just compensation and stating that such issue shall be determined either by a commission, by a jury or by the court, as provided in § 25.1-220.

D. An order of the court in favor of the petitioner on any of the foregoing preliminary issues or matters shall not be a final order for purposes of appeal but an order against the petitioner on such issues or matters shall be a final order for purposes of appeal, if the petitioner so elects. If the order against the petitioner does not dismiss the petition, the petitioner may elect to proceed with the case without waiving any of its objections and exceptions to the rulings of the court.

E. At such hearing the court shall also determine whether the petitioner shall be granted a right of entry as provided in § 25.1-223.

1962, c. 426, § 25-46.17; 1991, c. 520; 2000, c. 1029; 2002, c. 272; 2003, c. 940; 2006, c. 586; 2010, c. 835.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.