The judge of a court in which a condemnation petition is filed or to which an eminent domain case is assigned shall appoint three disinterested real property owners who reside in the county as special commissioners to assess the damages of the owner of the property being condemned. The judge appointing the special commissioners shall give preference to persons agreed on by the parties. The judge shall provide each party a reasonable period to strike one of the three commissioners appointed by the judge. If a person fails to serve as a commissioner or is struck by a party to the suit, the judge shall appoint a replacement.
The special commissioners shall swear to assess damages fairly, impartially, and according to the law.
Special commissioners may compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of testimony, administer oaths, and punish for contempt in the same manner as a county judge.Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3499, ch. 576, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984.Amended by:Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 81 (S.B. 18), Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2011.