Under the laws of Nebraska, prior to the passage of the Nebraska Uniform Eminent Domain Act in 1951, each body that had been delegated the power of eminent domain had a specific set of statutes setting out the procedure it was to follow in condemnation proceedings. The language of the various statutes differed, and the procedure was not uniform. To a large extent, the enactment of 19513 remedied these differences; however, a current controversy remains concerning the duties of court appointed appraisers when valuing property in which several people have an interest. Nebraska is currently confronted with the problem of valuation of damages to the separate interests of real property condemned under the Act. A conflict exists between other state court interpretations of similar statutes and interpretations by the Nebraska Supreme Court prior to the passage of the Act in 1951. This Comment considers the two prominent doctrines in the United States concerned with the question of valuation of separate interests in real property; the majority accept the unit valuation doctrine which asserts that the property must first be valuated as a whole and then apportioned among the different interests. There is a minority separate valuation doctrine which determines that different interests in property are entitled to be valuated separately in assessing damages. Unfortunately, there are no Nebraska cases interpreting the duties of court appointed appraisers in the valuation of property in which several persons have an interest. Therefore, to understand the meaning the legislature intended when these sections were enacted, it is necessary to review the case law and relevant statutes governing such cases prior to passage of the Act, together with the relevant portions of that Act. Due consideration is also given to eminent domain statutes of other states and interpretative decisions. An analysis is then made concerning whether different estates or interests in real property taken under the Nebraska Uniform Eminent Domain Act are to be valued separately, or whether the entire property is to be valued as a unit and the amount apportioned among the separate interests.
John C. Person,
Eminent Domain: Valuation of Different Real Property Interests in Nebraska,
49 Neb. L. Rev. 132
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol49/iss1/8