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Section 3: Affidavits

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Overview

An affidavit, (either Form ROW-U-1A, ROW-U-1B, or ROW-U-1C, as appropriate, with the required attachments, or a Form ROW-U-84, Attorney Certificate, is required to document the property rights of the utility. Such compensable interests are necessary in determining eligibility for TxDOT cost participation under the State and LPA right of way programs.

If an affidavit (ROW-U-1A, ROW-U-1B, or ROW-U-1C, as appropriate) is used to document the compensable interest, the utility, third party, or landowner, as appropriate, must describe the interests they claim and certify that they are presently in effect.

Districts that have a staff attorney may use the Attorney Certificate, Form ROW-U-84 as an option. The staff attorney must investigate the circumstances, certify that the utility has a valid interest, and complete the certificate.

In some cases, the instruments setting forth the utility’s compensable interest cannot be correlated to the right of way map for the project. Therefore, it will be necessary to submit information (i.e., sketches) that identify and tie each instrument to the current ownership that appears on the right of way map. This information may be determined by conducting a title search of the deed records at the county clerk’s office or possibly from the title commitments issued for the new highway right of way parcels.

The utility may claim a compensable interest within the existing highway right of way by virtue of property rights that predate the existing highway right of way. Thus, in order to substantiate the utility’s claim, the utility must provide documentation of owning the prior right. The District should verify all received documents and determine whether the following exists:

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  • previous reimbursable adjustment with utility on past project identified with U-Number.
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  • Utility Joint Use Acknowledgement where property rights were retained by the utility provided that such rights were not extinguished by quitclaim or release of easement

In determining the utility’s claim of owning compensable interest to be either valid or invalid, the District must also research their files for any notice of installation forms that correlate to the adjustment site. Form 1082, Utility Installation Request will be in the District’s files if the utility constructed a facility on the existing highway right of way in the past.

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