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Supplementary Procedure

Reference Number: MTAS-1278
Reviewed Date: 10/05/2023

The supplementary condemnation procedure set out in T.C.A. §§ 29-17-901 et seq., can be used by the state of Tennessee to acquire such right-of-way, land, material, easements, and rights as are necessary, suitable, or desirable for the construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, drainage, or protection of any street, road, freeway, or parkway. In addition to these purposes, municipalities and counties can use the supplementary procedure for any municipal or county purpose for which condemnation is otherwise authorized by any act of the Tennessee General Assembly, unless expressly stated to the contrary. T.C.A. § 29-17-901. Levee and drainage districts in certain counties also may use the supplementary procedure. T.C.A. § 29-17-901. The supplementary procedure may not be used by housing authorities since they are not counties or municipalities. [54]

The supplementary procedure is a cumulative procedure for the exercise of eminent domain and should be construed in pari materia with the other eminent domain statutes. [55] This supplementary procedure was designed to protect the property owner by having the amount the condemner believes the property owner is entitled to deposited in court, and when that money has been deposited, to give the condemner the almost immediate right of possession. [56] This purpose, however, has been largely negated by statutory amendments requiring 30 days notice of filing the condemnation petitions in all eminent domain cases.

The supplementary procedure, like the jury of view procedure, requires the condemner to initiate the condemnation action by filing a petition for condemnation in the circuit court, accompanied by a deposit for the amount of damages the condemner believes the property owner is entitled to, and giving the property owner notice of the proceedings. T.C.A. §§ 29-17-902; 29-17-903. If the condemner is a municipality or county, any defendant may elect to use the jury of view procedure by filing a statement to that effect within five days of service upon the defendant. T.C.A. § 29-17-901.

If the condemner’s right to take is not questioned [57], the condemner may take possession of the property 30 days after the notice has been given. T.C.A. § 29-17-903. [58] If the property owner is satisfied with the amount of the deposit, he or she may withdraw that amount from the court by filing a sworn statement stating that he or she is the owner of the property or property interests described in the petition for condemnation and that he or she accepts the deposit in full settlement for the taking of the property and all damages occasioned to the remainder thereof. T.C.A. § 29-17-904. The court will then enter an order divesting the property owner of title and vesting it in the condemner. T.C.A. § 29-17-904. If the property owner is dissatisfied with the deposit, he or she may file an exception to the amount deposited by the condemner, and a trial before a petit jury may be held on the amount of just compensation due the property owner. T.C.A. § 29-17-905.

[54] Baker v. Nashville Housing Authority, supra.

[55] Catlett v. State, 207 Tenn. 1, 336 S.W.2d 8 (1960).

[56] Kennedy v. City of Chattanooga, supra. v. Thornton, 57 Tenn. App. 127, 415 S.W.2d 884 (1967).

[57] If the right to take is challenged, the condemner has no right to possession until that issue is resolved. Shelby County v. Armour, 495 S.W.2d 816 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1975). See The Right to Take for more information.

[58] In some counties, the court may require the condemner and property owners to appear on a date certain after the expiration of the 30-day period to obtain an order awarding possession to the condemner.