A.R.S. 12-1115 Interpretation

In Chambers v. State ex rel. Morrison, 82 Ariz. 278, 284, 312 P.2d 155, 159 (1957), the defendant landowner, relying on A.R.S. § 12-1115, asserted that the trial court erred by not considering that she would suffer "private injury" if the land was condemned because she had promised the land to a priest to be used for a student center. Id. at 283-84, 312 P.2d at 159.

In interpreting the requirements under A.R.S. § 12-1115, the court specifically accepted two propositions from California case law as "reasonable interpretations" of A.R.S. § 12-1115(A):

(1) that "this provision . . . requires a balancing of the greatest public good and the least private injury in locating land for condemnation" and;

(2) "that it is not necessary for the state to plead compliance with the above provision, but that the defendant must make it an issue (by his pleadings or otherwise); and if it then becomes an issue the defendant has the burden of proof." Id.

Chambers expressly places the burden on the landowner to prove noncompliance with A.R.S. § 12-1115 and not the condemnor.