Reservoir Commission With Private Member Could Not Condemn Property

Tuesday, July 03, 2018 9:31 am
July 2018 - Volume 46 Number 7

A commission to create a new reservoir did not have the authority to condemn property because the commission included one private corporation that lacked its own eminent domain powers.

Facts: Eight municipal agencies and one corporation banded together and created the Clarke County Reservoir Commission (Commission), which condemned private property in order to create a new reservoir in Clarke County, Iowa. The landowners, including Linda Sue Abbott and the Edwin D. and Deloris A. Robins Revocable Trust, challenged the condemnation proceedings because one member of the Commission, the Clarke County Development Corporation, was a private corporation without eminent domain powers. The landowners argued that the Commission lacked the legal authority to initiate the condemnation proceeding because the Commission included members without eminent domain powers.

A trial court disagreed, denying the landowners’ motion for summary judgment on this ground. In a declaratory judgment, th[..]