January 14, 1939: Muroc Notice of Condemnation

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

Some 47 residents occupying 9,001 acres of land adjacent to the Muroc bombing range received notice of condemnation proceedings against their land. The federal government initiated the court action because of the inability of federal agents to purchase the land parcels from the owners at what was considered to be a fair market price. Two other condemnation suits would be filed in succeeding weeks, bringing the total acreage to 60,000 acres. The Kern County Board of Supervisors responded with a request for the federal government to appropriate $5,000 in temporary assistance for the landowners displaced by the land acquisition process.

A notice of condemnation is the process used to notify a person, corporation, company, or counsel that property owned by that party is to be condemned for use by the United States Government for reasons as may be explained within the writ. This notice must contain a description of the property to be seized. In real estate condemnations, the notice may enumerate all present and past owners of the property..  The notice may be served anywhere within the United States.  The clerk of the U.S. District Court issues and signs the notice under seal.  The notice is served by any person who is not a party and who is at least 18 years old. Because service by the U.S. Marshal may continue to be appropriate in cases brought by the United States, the Marshal normally coordinates with the U.S. attorney regarding whether the former should serve the notice in a particular case.  The notice may be served in any manner permitted under the service of process law of the state where the district court is located or under the service of process law of the state where the notice is to be served.  The individual who effects service of a notice of condemnation will provide proof of service to the court.  Sales of forfeited or condemned property are carried out according to policy and procedures related to the asset forfeiture program   The information related to the service of court process that is contained on this web site is general information and not intended to be an exhaustive or definitive explanation or depiction of Federal rules of procedures for the service of process.  Readers are directed to the Federal Rules of Criminal and Civil Procedure; personal legal counsel; the United States Code, Titles 18 and 28; their local U.S. Attorney's Office and District Court for specific, authoritative guidance. 

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