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Section 5: Special Commissioners’ Award and Settlement Value Analyses

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The determination on whether a Special Commissioners’ Award should be accepted or appealed (or whether a settlement of an appealed jury trial case should be proposed or accepted) involves legal and administrative functions, in addition to property value information. The process for both situations is outlined in Commissioners’ Award and Filing of Objections in Chapter 2, Section 5 of TxDOT’s Right of Way Manual Vol. 4 - Eminent Domain.

The function of the review appraiser in helping to reach a determination is as follows:

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  • consider all relevant information of value, such as appraisal report(s) secured by the property owner;
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  • consider value information brought out in testimony at the hearing or trial;
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  • consider any other significant value information.

If R/W-PD considers the award to be within the range of value, an opinion must be documented in the “Administrative Comments” section of Page 2 of form ROW-E-73, Data Sheet Special Commissioners Hearing, when acting on a Special Commissioner’s Award; or by interoffice memorandum to ROW Division HQ when acting on a proposed settlement.

R/W-PD’s comments should include statements on how its conclusion was supported, as if a person were later reading a review or an audit. It does not have to resemble a “proof beyond all doubt” type of explanation.

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