United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA upon the relation and for the use of the TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY PLAINTIFF
AN EASEMENT AND RIGHT-OF-WAY OVER 5.59 ACRES OF LAND, MORE OR LESS, IN OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI; JASON E. PATTERSON; RENASANT BANK; and SCOTT R. HENDRIX, Trustee DEFENDANTS
ORDER GRANTING POSSESSION
M. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
condemnation action is before the Court on the
“Plaintiff's Motion for Entry of an Order of
Immediate Possession.” Doc. #4.
September 20, 2017, the United States of America, upon the
relation and for the use of the Tennessee Valley Authority
(“TVA”), filed a complaint in this Court
“for the taking of property under the power of eminent
domain and for the ascertainment and award of just
compensation to the owners and parties in interest.”
Doc. #1 at ¶ 1. Specifically, TVA seeks to take for
public use an easement and right-of-way over land located in
Oktibbeha County, Mississippi (“Property”).
Id. at ¶ 5; Doc. #1-1. The complaint lists as
defendants (1) Jason E. Patterson, the owner of the Property;
(2) Renasant Bank, a holder of a lien on the Property by a
construction deed of trust; and (3) Scott R. Hendrix, the
designated trustee of the construction deed of trust. Doc. #1
at ¶ 6.
September 20, 2017, TVA filed a “Declaration of Taking,
” signed by Elizabeth Birdwell from its General
Counsel's Office, Doc. #2; and a “Notice of
Condemnation” identifying the Property and the
defendants, Doc. #3. The following day, TVA deposited $30,
900 in the Court's registry.
September 27, 2017, TVA filed “Plaintiff's Motion
for Entry of an Order of Immediate Possession, ” and an
accompanying memorandum. Doc. #4; Doc. #5. The motion and
memorandum include certificates of service reflecting that
each was mailed to the defendants. The defendants have not
responded to the motion.
Congressional authorization is required for land to be
condemned by the government for public use. Congress
sometimes exercises the power of eminent domain directly by
enacting a statute that appropriates specific property.
Congress's normal practice, however, is to delegate the
power of eminent domain to government officers who may
condemn property in the name of the United States for public
use. And Congress may ... grant condemnation power to private
corporations executing works in which the public is
interested. ... When a condemnation action becomes necessary,
a government official has two statutory methods available for
exercising the power of eminent domain. Under the first
method, called “straight condemnation, ” the
action usually proceeds to a determination of just
compensation and final judgment before the condemnor takes
possession. Under the second method, often referred to as
“quick-take, ” the government may take possession
of the condemned property at the beginning of the case.
E. Tenn. Nat. Gas Co. v. Sage, 361 F.3d 808, 820-21
(4th Cir. 2004) (quotation marks, alterations, and citations
omitted). This case involves a “quick-take”
action brought by TVA, an entity authorized by Congress to
exercise the power of eminent domain. See 16 U.S.C.
U.S.C. § 3114, the quick-take statute, provides that
“[o]n filing [a] declaration of taking and depositing
in the court, to the use of the persons entitled to the
compensation, the amount of the estimated compensation stated
in the declaration, ” three legal mechanisms occur: (1)
“title to the estate or interest specified in the
declaration vests in the Government;” (2) “the
land is condemned and taken for the use of the
Government;” and (3) “the right to just
compensation for the land vests in the persons entitled to
the compensation.” 40 U.S.C. § 3114(b). The
statute further provides:
declaration of taking shall contain or have annexed to it-
(1) a statement of the authority under which, and the public
use for which, ...