The SC confirms that in the framework of a compulsory expropriation procedure, the expropriating Administration cannot desist from the expropriation already initiated once the fair price has been determined in the administrative way

The Supreme Court, in its ruling of July 10, 2018, declared that the determination of the expropriation price in the administrative way determines the inability of the expropriating Administration to desist from the expropriation initiated. Now, in emergency proceedings – in which the occupation is prior to the fixing of the fair price – the High Court declares that the date of the occupation will make it impossible to desist from the expropriation.

In the first instance, the Galician Supreme Court, in its judgement of 16 November 2016, concluded that the affected land hadn’t been occupied effectively, neither for the work itself nor for any complementary purpose, the land in question appearing free of any obstacle to its use and in full readiness to be recovered by its owners. Therefore, the contested resolutions had to be considered in accordance with the law in relation to the disaffection of the land in question.

However, the SC upheld this ruling and, on the one hand, pointed out that article 48 of the Forced Expropriation Law must be interpreted in the terms indicated above, in relation to the power of the expropriating Administration to withdraw from the forced expropriation procedure. On the other hand, it recognizes the right of the appellants to the conclusion of the expropriation procedure initiated by the Administration for the widening of the road, with the payment of the totality of the price established in the administrative route and the complete occupation of the property object of expropriation.