Any property owner or public corporation may accept the appraisals in its favor of benefits, of damages, and of lands to be taken made by the board of appraisers of a conservancy district, or may acquiesce in the board's failure to appraise damages in its favor, and shall be construed to have done so unless, within thirty days after the publication provided for in section 6101.32 of the Revised Code, or such additional time as may be granted by the presiding judge of the court, the property owner or public corporation files exceptions to the report or to any appraisal of benefits, damages, or land to be taken that may be appropriated. All exceptions shall be heard by the court beginning not less than forty or more than fifty days after the publication provided for in that section, and determined in advance of other business so as to carry out, liberally, the purposes and needs of the district. The court shall provide for the hearing on the exceptions in the county seat of each county in which property is located with respect to which an exception or exceptions have been filed at a time and place fixed by the court. Notice of the time and place of the hearing of an exception shall be given the exceptor in such manner as the court may direct. The hearing conducted in a particular county shall be limited to testimony presented by the district and by exceptors whose exceptions relate to property located within that county.
The court may, if it considers it necessary, appoint one or more magistrates, each to be assigned by the court to conduct one or more of the hearings on exceptions required by this section, to make a record of each of the hearings, and to report the record, together with findings and recommendations, back to the court. The magistrates shall have the usual powers possessed by magistrates, shall have the cooperation of the officials of the district in determining any facts relative to the conservancy appraisal record, and may use any abstracts, title certificates, title reports, or other information that the district has relative to any of the properties included in the appraisal record.
The court may cancel the scheduled hearing in any county having few exceptors, provided that the exceptors are given advance notice, in a manner as the court may direct, of the time and place of hearing in a nearby county at which the exceptors shall be heard.
The court may, if it considers it necessary, return the conservancy appraisal record to the board for its further consideration and amendment, and enter its order to that effect. If the appraisal record as a whole is referred back to the board, the court shall not resume the hearing on it without new notice, as for an original hearing on it. The court may, without losing jurisdiction over the appraisal record, order the board to recast the appraisal record when the order of the court specifies the precise character of the changes.
Effective Date: 09-21-2000