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Grosset v. City of Passy , n° 04-70.018, Cour de Cassation, 3ème chambre civile, 2 février 2005, AJDA 2005 Informations rapides p. 294

Facts: the applicants were the heirs of M. René Gosset, a proprietor of buildings and land who died in 1963. They appealed before the Cour de Cassation the Ordinance of December 16, 2003 by the Judge of expropriation of Haute-Savoie providing for the transfer to the City of Passy of the buildings and land which belonged to M. Gosset before his death.

Holding: the Cour de Cassation overruled the Ordinance issued by the Judge of expropriation and condemned the city of Passy to pay to the heirs of M. Grosset the amount of 2,000 euros.

Reasoning: the Judge of expropriation must control that the authority expropriating a property effectively researched the proprietors of the property before expropriating. The Ordinance providing for the expropriation mentioned each building and lot of land expropriated and précised the identity of the persons subject to the expropriation, in conformity with article 11-28 of the Code of Expropriation. However the Judge of expropriation in his decision only checked whether the name of the deceased proprietor was mentioned and did not mention that the authority expropriating had complied with all the conditions of article 11-28 of the Code in order to look for the heirs of M. Grosset. Therefore the decision of the Judge of expropriation was illegal and was overruled.

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