Eminent Domain FAQ 2

Can a municipality condemn property owned by a school district or a county?

It is not entirely clear but the answer appears to be “no.” The attorney general has concluded in the past that municipalities lack the ability to condemn property owned by school districts or counties. Wisconsin statute section 32.03(1) provides that the “power of condemnation conferred in this subchapter does not extend to property owned by the state, a municipality, public board or commission.” The attorney general has concluded that counties and school districts are covered by this provision as either “municipalities” or “public boards.” See 29 Op. Att’y Gen. 458, 463 (1948), 30 Op. Att’y Gen. 266 (1941), 47 Op. Att’y Gen. 270 (1958), and 62 Op. Att’y Gen. 64 (1972).