23 CFR 710.603 - Direct Federal acquisition.
(a) The provisions of this section apply to any land and or improvements needed in connection with any project on the Interstate System, defense access roads, public lands highways, park roads, parkways, Indian reservation roads, and projects performed by the FHWA in cooperation with Federal and State agencies. For projects on the Interstate System and defense access roads, the provisions of this part are applicable only where the State is unable to acquire the required right-of-way or is unable to obtain possession with sufficient promptness.
(b) To enable the FHWA to make the necessary finding to proceed with the acquisition of the rights-of-way, the STDs written application for Federal acquisition shall include:
(1) Justification for the Federal acquisition of the lands or interests in lands;
(2) The date the FHWA authorized the STD to commence right-of-way acquisition, the date of the project agreement and a statement that the agreement contains the provisions required by 25 U.S.C. 111;
(3) The necessity for acquisition of the particular lands under request;
(4) A statement of the specific interests in lands to be acquired, including the proposed treatment of control of access;
(5) The STDs intentions with respect to the acquisition, subordination, or exclusion of outstanding interests, such as minerals and utility easements, in connection with the proposed acquisition;
(6) A statement on compliance with the provisions of part 771 of this chapter;
(7) Adequate legal descriptions, plats, appraisals, and title data;
(8) An outline of the negotiations which have been conducted by the STD with landowners;
(9) An agreement that the STD will pay its pro rata share of costs incurred in the acquisition of, or the attempt to acquire rights-of-way; and
(10) A statement that assures compliance with the applicable provisions of the Uniform Act. (42 U.S.C. 4601, et seq.)
(c) If the landowner tenders a right-of-entry or other right of possession document required by State law any time before the FHWA makes a determination that the STD is unable to acquire the rights-of-way with sufficient promptness, the STD is legally obligated to accept such tender and the FHWA may not proceed with Federal acquisition.
(d) If the STD obtains title to a parcel prior to the filing of the Declaration of Taking, it shall notify the FHWA and immediately furnish the appropriate U.S. Attorney with a disclaimer together with a request that the action against the landowner be dismissed (ex parte) from the proceeding and the estimated just compensation deposited into the registry of the court for the affected parcel be withdrawn after the appropriate motions are approved by the court.
(e) When the United States obtains a court order granting possession of the real property, the FHWA shall authorize the STD to take over supervision of the property. The authorization shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:
(1) The right to take possession of unoccupied properties;
(2) The right to give 90 days notice to owners to vacate occupied properties and the right to take possession of such properties when vacated;
(3) The right to permit continued occupancy of a property until it is required for construction and, in those instances where such occupancy is to be for a substantial period of time, the right to enter into rental agreements, as appropriate, to protect the public interest;
(4) The right to request assistance from the U.S. Attorney in obtaining physical possession where an owner declines to comply with the court order of possession;
(5) The right to clear improvements and other obstructions;
(6) Instructions that the U.S. Attorney be notified prior to actual clearing, so as to afford him an opportunity to view the lands and improvements, to obtain appropriate photographs, and to secure appraisals in connection with the preparation of the case for trial;
(7) The requirement for appropriate credits to the United States for any net salvage or net rentals obtained by the State, as in the case of right-of-way acquired by the State for Federal-aid projects; and
(8) Instructions that the authority granted to the STD is not intended to preclude the U.S. Attorney from taking action, before the STD has made arrangements for removal, to reach a settlement with the former owner which would include provision for removal.
(f) If the Federal Government initiates condemnation proceedings against the owner of real property in a Federal court and the final judgment is that the Federal agency cannot acquire the real property by condemnation, or the proceeding is abandoned, the court is required by law to award such a sum to the owner of the real property that in the opinion of the court provides reimbursement for the owner's reasonable costs, disbursements, and expenses, including reasonable attorney, appraisal, and engineering fees, actually incurred because of the condemnation proceedings.
(g) As soon as practicable after the date of payment of the purchase price or the date of deposit in court of funds to satisfy the award of the compensation in a Federal condemnation, the FHWA shall reimburse the owner to the extent deemed fair and reasonable, the following costs:
(1) Recording fees, transfer taxes, and similar expenses incidental to conveying such real property to the United States;
(2) Penalty costs for prepayment of any preexisting recorded mortgage entered into in good faith encumbering such real property; and
(3) The pro rata portion of real property taxes paid which are allocable to a period subsequent to the date of vesting title in the United States or the effective date of possession, whichever is the earlier.
(h) The lands or interests in lands, acquired under this section, will be conveyed to the State or the appropriate political subdivision thereof, upon agreement by the STD, or said subdivision to:
(1) Maintain control of access where applicable;
(2) Accept title thereto;
(3) Maintain the project constructed thereon;
(4) Abide by any conditions which may set forth in the deed; and
(5) Notify the FHWA at the appropriate time that all the conditions have been performed by the State.
(i) The deed from the United States to the State, or to the appropriate political subdivision thereof, shall include the conditions required by 49 CFR part 21. The deed shall be recorded by the grantee in the appropriate land record office, and the FHWA shall be advised of the recording date.