United States ex rel. TVA v. Powelson,
319 U.S. 266 (1943)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States ex rel. TVA v. Powelson, 319 U.S. 266 (1943)

United States ex rel. Tennessee Valley Authority v. Powelson

No. 3

Argued March 12, 13, 1942

Reargued March 1, 2, 1943

Decided May 17, 1943

319 U.S. 266


1. Upon this appeal under § 25 of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act, the Circuit Court or Appeals complied with the requirement that it dispose of the matter "upon the record, without regard to the awards or findings theretofore made," and fix the value. P. 319 U. S. 272.

2. In a proceeding to condemn lands under § 25 of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act, the burden of establishing their value rests upon the respondent landowner. P. 319 U. S. 273.

3. In a proceeding under § 25 of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act, the owner sought to establish a special value for the lands condemned

Page 319 U. S. 267

upon the ground of their special adaptability, when united with other tracts owned by him and with tracts owned by strangers, for use in forming a multiple-dam hydroelectric plant which he projected.


(1) That, in order to permit consideration of such special adaptability, there must be a reasonable probability of the condemned tract's being thus combined with other tract in the near future; otherwise the special use would be too remote and speculative to have any legitimate effect upon the valuation. P. 319 U. S. 275.

(2) The landowner's privilege to use the power of eminent domain -- granted by the State in which the lands were situate, but not exercised, and revocable by the State -- may not be considered in determining whether there is a reasonable probability that the lands condemned could be so united with other tracts into the projected power plant in the reasonably near future. Without the power to condemn, the chances of incorporating lands as contemplated by the project are too remote and slim to have any legitimate effect on the valuation. P. 319 U. S. 276.

4. In condemning lands for a federal project, the United States is not required to make compensation for the loss of a business opportunity, dependent upon their owner's privilege to use the state power of eminent domain in acquiring other lands, where such privilege has not been exercised and is revocable by the State, and where the State need not make such compensation were it the sponsor of the project and the taker of the lands in question. P. 319 U. S. 284.

118 F.2d 79 reversed.

Certiorari, 314 U.S. 594, to review a judgment of the Circuit Court of Appeals which affirmed with modifications a judgment of the District Court, 33 F.Supp. 519, in a condemnation case.

Page 319 U. S. 268

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