Civil Case Rules Apply To Eminent Domain Actions In Kansas.

In the fall of 2011, the defendant sought an easement over the plaintiff's property.  When the plaintiff refused to grant the easement, the defendant initiated a condemnation action under K.S.A. Sec. 26-501, et seq.  The trial court determined that the defendant had the power of eminent domain and appointed appraisers to determined the amount of compensation to be paid to the plaintiff.  The appraisers filed their report and the plaintiff appealed, but later motioned to dismiss his appeal without prejudice (a dismissal that allows for refilling in the future).  About five months later, the plaintiff filed another notice of appeal of the appraisers' award citing the Kansas Savings Statute (K.S.A. Sec. 60-518) as the authority for allowing his appeal, which would otherwise be untimely.  The defendant moved to dismiss and the trial court dismissed the case.  On appeal, the court reversed.  The appellate court determined that the savings statute applied and that the appeal was a "new civil action" to be tried as any other civil action.  The legislature, the court held, had not specified that eminent domain cases were to be treated differently.  Neighbor v. Westar Energy, Inc., No. 111,972, 2015 Kan. LEXIS 238 (Kan. Sup. Ct. May 8, 2015).

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