State Claims Commission

Director Richard Estabrook, Esq.

The State Claims Commission was established to ensure that the rights of property owners and/or interested parties are protected and just compensation is awarded in highway condemnations in real property taken by the State. The commission affords property owners and/or interested parties the opportunity to appear, present their case and have their rights fully protected without the necessity of retaining professional assistance.

The commission is empowered to determine and award just compensation for highway takings, relocation assistance, grading and well damage claims, outdoor advertising signs, the relocation removal or disposal of automobile graveyards and junkyards, and assessment of damages for takings by the Portland Water District and by the Maine Turnpike Authority. It may also make rules and regulations and approve, partially approve, or disapprove certain claims against the State of Maine or any of its agents.

The State Claims Commission consists of five members, four of whom are appointed by the Governor for terms of four years. Two of these appointees must be qualified appraisers certified as general real estate appraisers and two must be attorneys-at-law. The Governor designates one of the latter as Chairman.

The fifth member of the Commission is appointed for each hearing or series of hearings within the county where the land taken lies and must be a member of that county's board of county commissioners. This member is appointed by the chairperson of the State Claims Commission upon recommendation by the board of county commissioners, such service being as a member of the State Claims Commission and not in the capacity of County Commissioner.