Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

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

Article 7. Judgment and Post-Judgment Procedure.

§ 25.1-237. Payment of compensation and damages into court; vesting of title.

Upon the return of the report of the body determining just compensation, and the confirmation, alteration or modification thereof in the manner provided in this chapter, the sum so ascertained by the court as compensation and damages, if any, to the property owners may be paid into court. Upon paying such sum into court, title to the property and rights condemned shall vest in the petitioner to the extent prayed for in the petition, unless such title shall have already vested in the petitioner in a manner otherwise provided by law. The petitioner or its agent shall have the right to enter and construct its works or improvements upon or through the property described in its petition.

Code 1919, § 4369; Code 1950, §§ 25-19, 25-20; 1962, c. 426, § 25-46.24; 2000, c. 1029; 2003, c. 940.

§ 25.1-238. Petitioner may begin work during pendency of proceedings; injunction prohibited.

A. Upon the return of the report of the body determining just compensation and upon payment into court of the sum ascertained therein, the petitioner or its agents may enter and construct its works or improvements upon or through the property as described in its petition, notwithstanding the pendency of proceedings on any objections to such report in the trial court, or upon an appeal of the case, or the ordering of a new trial of the issue of just compensation or otherwise.

B. No order shall be made nor any injunction awarded by any court to stay the petitioner in the prosecution of its work unless it is manifest that the petitioner or its agents are transcending their authority and that the interposition of the court is necessary to prevent injury that cannot be adequately compensated in damages.

Code 1919, § 4371; Code 1950, § 25-23; 1962, c. 426, § 25-46.25; 2000, c. 1029; 2003, c. 940.

§ 25.1-239. Finality of order confirming, altering or modifying report; appeal.

A. The order confirming, altering or modifying the report of just compensation shall be final.

B. Any party aggrieved thereby may apply for an appeal to the Supreme Court and a supersedeas may be granted in the same manner as is now provided by law and the Rules of Court applicable to civil cases. An order setting aside the report and awarding a new trial of the issue of just compensation shall not be a final order for the purposes of appeal.

1962, c. 426, § 25-46.26; 2003, c. 940.

§ 25.1-240. Distribution of money paid into court.

A. Upon the award being paid into court and the confirmation of the report in the manner provided in § 25.1-237, the interest or estate of the owner or owners in the property taken or damaged shall terminate and they shall have such interest or estate in the fund and any interest accrued thereon so paid into court as they had in the property so taken or damaged. All liens by a deed of trust, judgment or otherwise upon such property or any interest therein shall be transferred to the fund so paid into court. If the court is satisfied that the persons having an interest therein are before the court, the court shall make such distribution of such money and any interest accrued thereon as to it may seem proper, having due regard to the interest of all persons therein, and in what proportions such money is properly payable.

B. If it appears from the record in the proceedings or otherwise that the person or persons or classes of persons in the proceedings are vested with the superior right or claim of title in the land or estate or interest therein condemned, or in the proceeds of the award of just compensation, and that the record does not disclose any denial or dispute thereof, by any person or party in interest, the court may direct that the fund and any interest accrued thereon, after the payment therefrom of any taxes, be disbursed and distributed accordingly among the persons entitled thereto or to such person who they may by writing direct.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B, the court may inquire into the rights or claims of any persons appearing to be infants, incapacitated or under any other legal incapacity, independent of any statement in the record.

D. Any order for distribution shall conserve and protect the rights of such parties in and to the fund and any interest accrued thereon.

E. The cost of a commissioner in chancery appointed by the court to assist in making the proper distribution in cases of legal disability as herein set forth may be taxed as a cost of the proceedings, to be paid by the petitioner.

Code 1919, § 4374; 1942, p. 339; Code 1950, § 25-26; 1962, c. 426, § 25-46.28; 1964, c. 590; 1979, c. 494; 1997, c. 801; 2003, c. 940.

§ 25.1-241. Hearing on controversy among claimants to money paid into court.

A. If it appears to the court that there exists a controversy among claimants to the fund and any interest accrued thereon, or to the ownership of the property subject to the condemnation, the court shall enter an order setting a time for hearing the case and determining the rights and claims of all persons entitled to the fund or to any interest or share therein.

B. In order to enable the court to determine the proper disposition of the fund and any interest accrued thereon, the court may, for good cause shown, appoint a commissioner in chancery to take evidence upon the conflicting claims. If the fund, exclusive of interest, is $500 or more, the costs incident to or arising out of a trial or a determination of such issues or out of a determination of the ownership of the fund and any interest accrued thereon or the distribution thereof shall not be taxed against the petitioner. If the fund, exclusive of interest, is less than $500, such costs shall be taxed against the petitioner.

C. Upon a determination by the court of the rights and claims of the persons entitled to the fund and any interest accrued thereon, an order shall be entered directing the disbursement among the persons entitled thereto or to whomsoever they may by writing direct. Any party aggrieved thereby may apply for an appeal as provided in subsection B of § 25.1-239.

Code 1919, § 4374; 1942, p. 339; Code 1950, § 25-26; 1962, c. 426, § 25-46.28; 1964, c. 590; 1979, c. 494; 1997, c. 801; 2003, c. 940; 2005, c. 885.

§ 25.1-242. Appointment of other body to determine just compensation when new trial ordered; costs of new trial.

A. If (i) the body determining just compensation fails to report its award of just compensation within a reasonable time after the issue of just compensation is submitted to it; (ii) the body determining just compensation reports that it is unable to make such award; (iii) the body's report is set aside; or (iv) a final order upon its report has been set aside upon appeal and a new trial ordered, the court shall, without further notice, as often as seems to it proper, appoint another body to determine just compensation of the same type as the preceding body, and the matter shall proceed as prescribed in this chapter.

B. If a new trial of the issue of just compensation is ordered, either in the trial court or upon appeal, upon an exception by an owner with respect to the insufficiency of the award of just compensation, and the subsequent report of the award of just compensation, which is confirmed, is for the same or a lesser total amount, the court shall (i) tax all the costs of the new trial against the owner making such exception and (ii) order repayment to the petitioner of any sum paid to such owner out of the fund paid into court by the petitioner in excess of the total sum ascertained by the second report with interest thereon from the date the original payment was made to such owner until the date such excess is repaid to the petitioner. Interest accruing thereon prior to July 1, 1970, shall be paid at the rate of five percent annually; interest accruing thereafter and prior to July 1, 1981, shall be paid at the rate of six percent annually; interest accruing thereafter and prior to July 1, 2003, shall be paid at the rate of eight percent annually; and interest accruing thereafter shall be paid at the general account's primary liquidity portfolio rate, compiled by the Department of the Treasury for the month in which the original payment was made to such owner.

C. If such owner fails to make such repayment within 30 days from the date of the entry of such order, the court shall enter judgment therefor against such owner.

Code 1919, §§ 4372, 4387; 1934, p. 514; Code 1950, §§ 25-22, 25-24; 1962, c. 426, § 25-46.29; 1970, c. 308; 1981, c. 476; 1991, c. 520; 2000, c. 1029; 2003, c. 940.

§ 25.1-243. Withdrawal pendente lite of money paid into court.

A. At any time after payment into court of the sum ascertained in the report of the award of just compensation, notwithstanding the fact that another trial of the issue of just compensation has been ordered or an appeal has been taken from a final order upon the report as provided in subsection B of § 25.1-239, a party whose property or interest therein is to be taken or damaged may apply to the court, in the manner provided in this section, for the withdrawal pendente lite of all, or any portion of his pro rata share, of the amount deposited for his interest in the property to be taken or damaged, together with his pro rata share of any interest accrued thereon.

B. If such application requests withdrawal of an amount in excess of 50 percent of such owner's pro rata share of the amount deposited, exclusive of interest, the court may require the applicant, before withdrawing any of such excess, to give or file a bond with the court for the return of the amount withdrawn that exceeds the amount to which the owner is entitled as finally determined in the condemnation proceeding, together with interest from the date of the withdrawal of the amount in excess of 50 percent of such owner's pro rata share of such amount deposited. Such bond shall be with surety approved by the court or clerk, conditioned as required by law to the effect that they are bound to the petitioner in such amount as fixed by the court, but not to exceed double the amount of such excess. Interest accruing prior to July 1, 1970, shall be paid at the rate of five percent annually; interest accruing thereafter and prior to July 1, 1981, shall be paid at the rate of six percent annually; interest accruing thereafter and prior to July 1, 2003, shall be paid at the rate of eight percent annually; and interest accruing thereafter shall be paid at the general account's primary liquidity portfolio rate, compiled by the Department of the Treasury.

C. Such application shall be verified and shall set forth the owner's interest in the property to be taken or damaged and request withdrawal of a stated amount. A copy of such application for withdrawal shall be served upon the petitioner or its counsel of record. No order permitting such withdrawal shall be entered until at least 21 days after service of such application upon the petitioner without its consent. Within such 21-day period the petitioner may object to such withdrawal by filing written objections thereto with the court on the grounds that the amount of, or the sureties upon the proposed bond are insufficient or that other persons are known or believed to have interests in such property. A copy of any such objections shall be served upon the applicant and such other persons as have appeared or answered, or their attorneys of record.

D. If any person appears and objects to the proposed withdrawal, or if the petitioner so requests, the court shall determine the amount to be withdrawn, if any, and the persons entitled thereto. Upon such determination, no other person so served shall have any claim against the petitioner to the extent of the amount so withdrawn. The court may follow the procedure prescribed in § 25.1-241 for the determination of any controversy among any claimants to the funds or to the ownership of the property subject to the condemnation, and may tax the costs thereof as therein provided.

E. If the award that is confirmed finally is for a lesser amount than the amount paid into court, the petitioner shall recover the amount of such excess and, if any person has been paid a greater sum than that to which he is entitled, judgment shall be entered for the petitioner against such person for the amount of such excess and any interest thereon.

F. The amount of the petitioner's deposit under § 25.1-224 or § 25.1-237 and the amount of such deposit withdrawn by any party in accordance with the provisions of this section shall not be given in evidence or referred to in the trial of the issue of just compensation or be considered by the court or upon appeal in determining whether the award is inadequate or excessive, nor limit the rights of any party to appeal from any decision therein.

1962, c. 426, § 25-46.30; 1970, c. 308; 1979, c. 494; 1981, c. 476; 2003, c. 940.

§ 25.1-244. Interest on award; entry of judgment for award and interest.

A. If the petitioner has exercised pendente lite the right to enter into and take possession of the land or other property, in the manner provided by this chapter, upon the payment into court of the sum ascertained in the report of just compensation as provided in § 25.1-238, the owner thereof shall receive interest upon the difference between (i) the amount of just compensation as finally determined and awarded to such owner and (ii) the amount, if any, that such owner received or was entitled to receive from the fund so paid into court. Such interest shall be paid for the period from the time of such entry by the petitioner until the time the fund paid into court on account of the final award of just compensation to such owner is available for distribution. Interest accruing prior to July 1, 1970, shall be paid at the rate of five percent annually; interest accruing thereafter and prior to July 1, 1981, shall be paid at the rate of six percent annually; interest accruing thereafter and prior to July 1, 2003, shall be paid at the rate of eight percent annually; and interest accruing thereafter shall be paid at not less than the judgment rate of interest as set forth in § 8.01-382. No interest shall be payable upon any amount that was withheld from such owner on account of questions involving his right, title, interest or estate in the land or other property taken or damaged.

B. If the petitioner has exercised the right pendente lite to enter into and take possession of the land or other property to be taken or damaged as provided in § 25.1-224, the owner thereof shall receive, in addition to the amount that he is entitled to receive under subsection A, interest at the general account's primary liquidity portfolio rate annually upon the difference between (i) the amount of the award of just compensation as finally determined and (ii) the amount previously paid into court as required under § 25.1-224. Such interest shall be paid for the period from the time of such entry until payment into court of the sum ascertained in the report of just compensation as provided in § 25.1-237.

C. No interest shall be allowed during the time any distribution of the fund paid into court was delayed in the trial court or upon appeal, or thereafter, occasioned by any exceptions made by such owner that are not sustained in whole or in part.

D. If the petitioner fails to pay into court any sum necessary for paying the total award that has been confirmed finally or the interest to which the owner is entitled under this section for a period of 30 days after the time for noting an appeal, the court shall enter judgment therefor against the petitioner, unless the proceedings have been dismissed in accordance with the provisions of Article 8 (§ 25.1-248 et seq.) of this chapter.

E. Interest allowable under the provisions of this section shall be reduced to the extent the fund has accrued interest during the pendency of the suit in the account required by § 25.1-224.

1962, c. 426, § 25-46.31; 1970, c. 308; 1979, c. 494; 1981, c. 476; 2003, c. 940; 2017, c. 710.

§ 25.1-245. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2020, c. 1244, cl. 2.

§ 25.1-245.1. Costs.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all costs of the proceeding in the trial court that are fixed by statute shall be taxed against the condemnor.

B. The court may in its discretion tax as a cost a fee, not to exceed $1,000, for a survey for the landowner.

C. If an owner whose property is taken by condemnation under this title or under Title 33.2 is awarded at trial, as compensation for the taking of or damage to his real property, an amount that is 25 percent or more greater than the amount of the condemnor's initial written offer made pursuant to § 25.1-204, the court may order the condemnor to pay to the owner those (i) reasonable costs, other than attorney fees, and (ii) reasonable fees and travel costs, including reasonable appraisal and engineering fees incurred by the owner, for up to three experts or as many experts as are called by the condemnor, whichever is greater, who testified at trial.

D. All costs on appeal shall be assessed and assessable in the manner provided by law and the Rules of Court as in other civil cases.

E. The requirements of this section shall not apply to those condemnation actions initiated by a public service company, public service corporation, railroad pursuant to the delegation of the power of eminent domain granted in Title 56, or government utility corporation, as defined by § 1-219.1, involving easements adjudged at less than $10,000.

2016, c. 713; 2020, c. 1244.

§ 25.1-246. When sheriff to remove forcible resistance to entry.

In any case in which the petitioner may be entitled under the laws of this Commonwealth to enter upon property for purposes of making examinations or surveys as are authorized by law, to enter upon property in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, or to condemn any property, the sheriff, whenever required, shall attend and remove, if necessary, any forcible resistance to any such entry or taking.

Code 1919, § 4386; Code 1950, § 25-44; 1962, c. 426, § 25-46.33; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 155; 2003, c. 940.

§ 25.1-247. Recordation of orders, judgments and proceedings; costs.

A. The clerk of the court shall make and certify a copy of so much of the orders, judgments and proceedings in the case as shall show such condemnation, including a plat and description of the property condemned, and any such contract, if any there be, as is mentioned in § 25.1-236. The clerk shall record such material in the land records in his office, and index it in the names of the parties.

B. If any portion of the land lies in two or more localities, the clerk shall certify a copy of the proceedings to the clerk of the court of each locality. The clerks shall record and index the copy as provided in subsection A.

C. The fees of the clerk for recording shall be the same as for recording a deed. The fees shall be paid by the petitioner.

Code 1919, § 4381; Code 1950, § 25-38; 1962, c. 426, § 25-46.27; 1991, c. 520; 2003, c. 940.

§ 25.1-247.1. Distribution of funds to owner or owner's attorney.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, upon any settlement or final determination resulting in a judgment for the owner, whether funds have been paid into the court or are outstanding, all such funds due and owing shall be payable to the owner or, if the owner consents, to the owner's attorney within 30 days of the settlement or final determination, unless otherwise subject to § 25.1-240, 25.1-241, 25.1-243, or 25.1-250. Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the priority of liens or any obligation to satisfy or release any outstanding liens on the property or the funds.

2018, c. 842.