Notwithstanding any provision contained in this chapter, the Commissioner of Highways or any city, town, county or other political subdivision or agency of this Commonwealth possessing the power of eminent domain may, for any public purpose and notwithstanding the pendency of any proceeding brought for the escheat of any land wanted and needed by such Commissioner of Highways or such city, town, county or other political subdivision or agency of this Commonwealth for such purpose, institute, maintain and conduct to final judgment condemnation proceedings to acquire in fee simple such land or such lesser estate, title or interest therein as is wanted and needed for such public purpose, provided, however, that the escheator in whose name such escheat proceedings be pending and the Commonwealth of Virginia be made codefendants to such condemnation proceedings, together with the owner or owners, if known, of the land proposed to be condemned in such proceeding. The pendency of such escheat proceedings shall not constitute a bar or defense to such condemnation proceedings, nor to any proceeding therein seeking a right of entry as provided in § 25.1-223, in Chapter 3 (§ 25.1-300 et seq.) of Title 25.1, or in Article 1 (§ 33.2-1000 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of Title 33.2. No escheator, after being served with notice of the filing of any such condemnation proceeding, shall sell or dispose of any land sought to be acquired in such condemnation proceeding except upon order entered by the court in which such condemnation proceeding is pending. The funds paid into court as compensation and/or damages for the land so taken or damaged shall, after payment of taxes and other claims constituting valid liens against the land so taken, be ordered distributed to the party or parties entitled thereto or be ordered paid to the escheator of said land, or to the State Treasurer, as the court, in its discretion, shall direct.
1968, c. 699; 2003, c. 940.