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AMI 2001 Nature of Action—Burden of Proof

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 2001
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
December 2023 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 20. Eminent Domain
AMI 2001 Nature of Action—Burden of Proof
This action by (the condemning authority) is brought in the exercise of the power of eminent domain. It is sometimes called a condemnation proceeding. By this means, (the condemning authority) may lawfully acquire the property involved for public purposes.
(The condemning authority's) taking of (the property owner's) property was necessary and proper under the law. The power of eminent domain, however, is always subject to the constitutional requirement that (the condemning authority) pay just compensation for all interests in the property taken.
Your only duty in this matter is to determine the amount of just compensation to be awarded to (the property owner). (The property owner) has the burden of proving the just compensation due [him][her][it] for the property taken.
This instruction may be used at the time the Court is advising the jury of the nature of the case and/or in the final jury instructions.
This instruction may be modified to include a statement describing the law under which the condemning authority is authorized to acquire title to the property and the purpose of the acquisition.
This instruction may also be modified to include a description of the amount of property being taken by the condemning authority, the amount of any property remaining after the taking, the date of the taking, and whether the case involves a temporary construction easement.
See AMI 202 for an instruction regarding preponderance of the evidence and burden of proof.
This instruction is modeled in part after O'Malley, Grenig and Lee, Federal Jury Practice and Instructions §§ 154:1, :10, :20 (6th ed.), and it is based on Burton v. Ward, 218 Ark. 253, 255–56, 236 S.W.2d 65, 66 (1951) (holding that the statutory proceeding to condemn land is a special proceeding directed solely to the object of determining the compensation to be paid the owner of the property proposed to be taken, and the only issue to be tried is the value of the property to be taken).
The property owner has the burden of proving fair market value. See Ark. State Highway Comm'n v. S. Dev. Corp., 250 Ark. 1016, 1020, 469 S.W.2d 102, 105 (1971); Ark. State Highway Comm'n v. Hambuchen, 243 Ark. 832, 833, 422 S.W.2d 688, 689 (1968); Prop. Owners Improvement Dist. No. 247 v. Williford, 40 Ark. App. 172, 180–81, 843 S.W.2d 862, 867–68 (1992).
In condemnation proceedings brought by the Arkansas Highway Commission, the court shall award costs, expenses and reasonable attorney's fees to the property owner if the compensation awarded exceeds the monies deposited in the court by 20% or more. Ark. Code Ann. § 27-67-317(b).
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