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The Legislative Service Commission staff updates the Revised Code on an ongoing basis, as it completes its act review of enacted legislation. Updates may be slower during some times of the year, depending on the volume of enacted legislation.

Chapter 159 | Purchase and Jurisdiction of Land by United States

Section 159.01 | Acquisition of title to land by United States.

Whenever it is necessary for the United States to acquire title to a tract of land in this state for any purpose, and the state gives its consent to such acquisition, the United States may acquire such land by appropriation; and for such purpose sections 163.01 to 163.22, inclusive, of the Revised Code, are hereby made applicable, and said United States, in appropriating such property, shall, in all respects, be governed by the acts referred to in this section, and such other acts supplemental thereto and amendatory thereof as may be in force when such proceedings take place; provided that the United States may pay the costs, including such reasonable attorney fees as are allowed by the court, to the person whose property is sought to be appropriated, and refuse to make the appropriation, if in their judgment the compensation assessed is too great to justify the appropriation.

Section 159.02 | Vacation of streets and alleys - rights of parties interested.

In case there is any street or alley not exceeding twenty-five feet in width, running through any block or tract of land purchased or acquired by the United States under section 159.01 of the Revised Code, all that portion of such street or alley within such block or tract of land shall, upon the acquisition of the same by the United States, be vacated and closed, and the lots or tracts of land abutting upon any such street or alley shall extend to the center line thereof, and vest in the United States, and become the property thereof, with full right, power, and authority to use, occupy, and enjoy the same as its own property in fee, to the same extent as if the same had never been used or occupied as a street or alley. Any person owning or having an equitable interest in any land abutting upon any such alley, but not situate upon, nor separated by a public street from the portion thereof sought to be vacated and closed, shall have a right in any proceedings for such appropriations to set up any claim for damages that would be occasioned to such land by such vacation and closure, and have a finding and judgment thereon, as to the same, as in other cases.

Section 159.03 | Consent of state given to acquisition by United States of land required for government purposes.

The consent of the state is given, in accordance with clause 17, Section 8, Article I, United States Constitution, to the acquisition, after May 6, 1902, by the United States, by purchase, condemnation, lease, or otherwises, of any land in this state required for sites for custom houses, courthouses, correctional institutions, post-offices, arsenals, or other public buildings whatever, or for any other purposes of the government.

Section 159.04 | Exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction over land acquired by United States - retrocession.

(A) Exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction in and over any land acquired by the United States under section 159.03 of the Revised Code is hereby ceded to the United States. The jurisdiction so ceded shall continue no longer than the said United States owns or holds legal interest in such lands.

(B) The governor may accept, on behalf of the state, retrocession of full or partial jurisdiction over any roads, highways, or other lands in federal enclaves where the appropriate federal authority offers the retrocession. The governor shall deliver the documents executed by the federal authority and the governor concurring in the retrocession, for recording, to the office of the recorder of the county in which the lands are located.

(C) The granting of exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction to the United States pursuant to division (A) of this section shall take effect only upon the granting of either form of jurisdiction by the governor to the United States and the acceptance of either form of jurisdiction by the United States.

(D) Nothing in this section is intended to modify, revoke, or in any way affect any prior grant of jurisdiction by the state to the United States that was made prior to the effective date of this amendment.

Section 159.05 | Jurisdiction shall vest.

The jurisdiction ceded under section 159.04 of the Revised Code shall not vest until the United States has acquired title to the lands by purchase, condemnation, or otherwise. As long as the lands whose acquisition is consented to by section 159.03 of the Revised Code remain the property of the United States they are exempt and exonerated from all state, county, and municipal taxation, assessment, or other charges which may be levied or imposed under the authority of this state. Sections 159.03 to 159.06 of the Revised Code do not prevent any officers, employees, or inmates of any national asylum for disabled volunteer soldiers located on any such land over which jurisdiction is ceded, who are qualified voters of this state from exercising the right of suffrage at all township, county, and state elections in any township in which such national asylum is located.

Section 159.06 | Law not retroactive.

Sections 159.03 to 159.05, inclusive, of the Revised Code shall not be retroactive or apply to any land acquired by the United States prior to May 6, 1902.

Section 159.11 | Right of entry by U.S. surveyors.

A person employed in the execution of any survey authorized by congress, without doing unnecessary injury thereby, may enter upon lands within this state for the purpose of exploring, triangulating, leveling, surveying, and doing any work necessary to carry out the objects of existing laws, and may establish permanent stations and marks, and erect the necessary signals and temporary observatories.

Section 159.12 | Damages caused by survey.

If the parties interested cannot agree upon the amount to be paid for damages caused by the survey mentioned in section 159.11 of the Revised Code, either party may petition the probate court of the county in which the land is situated. Such court shall appoint a time, as early as possible, for a hearing, and order that at least fourteen days' notice be given to all parties interested. With or without a view of the premises, as the court determines, it shall hear the parties and their witnesses, and assess damages.

Section 159.13 | Tender of damages.

Persons entering upon land as provided in section 159.11 of the Revised Code, may tender damages to the injured parties for such entry, and if, in the case of an application to the probate court, the damages finally assessed do not exceed the amount tendered, the person so entering shall recover costs, otherwise the prevailing party shall recover costs.

Section 159.14 | Fees and costs for services.

For services and proceedings under sections 159.11 to 159.13, inclusive, of the Revised Code, fees and costs shall be allowed as in other cases.