7-721. Possession by plaintiff pending trial. In any proceeding under the provisions of this chapter for the acquisition of real property, the plaintiff may take possession of and use such property at any time after just compensation has been judicially determined and payment thereof made into court. Judicial determination shall be satisfied by the following requirements:
(1) At any time after an action for condemnation has been commenced under the provisions of this chapter and after the defendant has made an appearance, the plaintiff may file a motion asking that said plaintiff be placed in lawful possession of and have the use of said property and the court shall fix a date, not less than ten (10) or more than twenty (20) days after the filing of such motion, for the hearing thereon and shall require due notice to be given to each party to the proceedings whose interest would be affected by the requested taking. Notice herein shall be given as provided in rule 5(a) or 5(b), as the case may be, of the Idaho rules of civil procedure.
If the defendant has not appeared, but is not in default, plaintiff may proceed as herein provided twenty (20) days after the action shall have been commenced by serving the motion and notice of the hearing in the same manner as required for service of summons.
(2) At the hearing the court shall first determine whether or not plaintiff (a) has the right of eminent domain, (b) whether or not the use to which the property is to be applied is a use authorized by law, (c) whether or not the taking is necessary to such use, and (d) whether or not plaintiff has sought, in good faith, to purchase the lands sought to be taken and the court shall enter an order thereon which shall be a final order as to these issues and an appeal may be taken therefrom; provided, however, no appeal therefrom shall stay further proceedings.
(3) If the matters in the preceding subsection are determined in favor of the plaintiff the court shall hear the issues raised by the plaintiff’s motion for taking and shall receive such evidence as it may consider necessary and proper for a finding of just compensation, but the court may limit the number of witnesses presented by any party to the action, and, in its discretion, may appoint a disinterested appraiser as an agent of the court to evaluate the property to which the motion relates and to report his conclusions to the court within ten (10) days from the date of his appointment; and the court shall fix his fee which shall be paid by the plaintiff. The court shall within five (5) days after the hearing, or if it shall appoint an appraiser, within five (5) days after receiving his report, make an order of determination of just compensation.
(4) Neither the order of the court determining just compensation, nor the amount of the deposit, nor the report of the appraiser appointed by the court shall be admissible in evidence in further proceedings under this section.
(5) After the court has entered its order of determination of the amount of just compensation, the plaintiff may deposit such amount with the court and the court shall thereupon enter an order fixing a date from which the plaintiff shall be entitled to take possession of and use the property. After such deposit and order have been made the cause shall proceed to trial in the regular manner.
(6) Any party defendant may file with the court an application to withdraw his share of the amount deposited by the plaintiff. Such application may be filed at any time after the court has entered its order placing plaintiff in possession and use of the property. If there be only one (1) defendant in the action, the court shall authorize the requested withdrawal of funds, but if there shall be more than one (1) defendant the court shall fix a date for hearing on the application to withdraw funds and shall require notice to be given to each party whose interest would be affected by such withdrawal. After hearing the court shall determine the share of the funds deposited to which the defendants or any of them are lawfully entitled and shall authorize the withdrawal requested or such part thereof as shall be proper.
(7) If more than eighty percent (80%) of the amount deposited is withdrawn, the defendant or defendants making the withdrawal shall be required to make a written undertaking, executed by two (2) or more sufficient sureties, approved by the court, to the effect that they are bound to the plaintiff for the payment to it of such sum by which the amount withdrawn shall exceed the amount of the award finally determined upon trial of the cause.
(8) Upon trial of the cause the court shall enter judgment against the plaintiff for the amount of the award, and the plaintiff shall pay to the defendant or defendants the amount, if any, by which such judgment exceeds the amount previously deposited; provided that if the award and judgment shall be less than the amount withdrawn under subsection (6) of this section, the defendant or defendants shall refund the difference to the clerk of the court and if such refund is not made within thirty (30) days the court shall enter judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against such defendant or defendants for the amount of the difference.
(9) After plaintiff has deposited with the court the amount determined by the court to be just compensation, no interest shall accrue on the amount so deposited.
[7-721, as added by 1969, ch. 234, sec. 1, p. 745; am. 1972, ch. 119, sec. 1, p. 236; am. 1975, ch. 141, sec. 1, p. 321; am. 2006, ch. 451, sec. 1, p. 1341.]