State Affairs and Government

Federal Lands

SECTION 42-2-5

§ 42-2-5. Eminent domain by United States.

Whenever it shall be made to appear to the superior court, upon the application of any authorized agent of the United States, that the United States is desirous of purchasing any tract of land, and the right of way thereto, within the limits of this state, for the erection of a lighthouse, beacon light, range light, lifesaving station, or light keeper's dwelling, or for the location, construction, or prosecution of forts, fortifications, coast defenses, and appurtenances thereto, and that the owner of the land is unknown, nonresident, or a minor, or from any other cause is incapable of making a perfect title to the lands, or in case the owners, being residents and capable of conveying, shall, from disagreement in price, or from any other cause, refuse to convey the lands to the United States, the superior court shall order notice upon the application to be published in the newspaper published nearest the place where the land lies, also in a newspaper published in Newport, and in a newspaper published in Providence, once in each week for the space of four (4) months, which notice shall contain an accurate description of the lands, together with the names of the owners, or supposed owners, and shall require all persons interested in the lands to appear on a day and at a place to be specified in the notice, and to make their objections, if any they have, to having the lands condemned to the United States for the above stated use. Whereupon, the superior court shall proceed to empanel a jury, as in other cases, to appraise the value of the lands, at their fair market value, and all damages sustained by the owners thereof by the appropriation thereof by the United States for the above stated purpose; which award, when so assessed, with the entire costs of the proceedings, shall be paid into the general treasury of the state, and thereupon the sheriff of the county in which the land lies, upon the production of the certificate of the general treasurer that the amount has been paid, shall execute to the United States, and deliver to their authorized agent, a deed of the lands, reciting the proceedings in the cause, which deed shall convey to the United States a good and absolute title to the lands for the purposes aforesaid, against all persons whatsoever.

History of Section.
(G.L. 1896, ch. 2, § 4; P.L. 1896, ch. 330, § 2; C.P.A. 1905, §§ 1216, 1217; G.L. 1909, ch. 2, § 4; G.L. 1923, ch. 2, § 4; G.L. 1938, ch. 2, § 5; G.L. 1956, § 42-2-5.)