§54-2-5. Commissioners; qualifications.
When it shall appear to the court, or the judge thereof in vacation, that proper notice has been given and that the case is one in which the applicant has lawful right to take property for the purposes stated in the petition, upon making just compensation, five disinterested freeholders shall be appointed commissioners to ascertain what will be a just compensation and any damages to the persons entitled thereto, for the property, or interest or right therein, proposed to be taken.

The following persons shall be deemed interested and shall not be appointed as commissioners: Any person who is personally interested in the property, or interest or right therein, proposed to be taken or in the compensation and any damages to be awarded therefor, or who is related by blood or marriage to any person having such personal interest, or who stands in the relation of guardian and ward, master and servant, principal and agent, or partner, real estate broker, or surety to any person having such personal interest, or who has enmity against or bias in favor of any person who has such personal interest, or who is the owner of, or interested in, any real estate over or through which the work of internal improvement will pass. No person shall be deemed interested or incompetent to act as commissioner by reason of his being an inhabitant of the county, district, or municipal corporation, on behalf of which application is made, or holding property therein.