Such appeal may be noticed for trial and tried except as herein otherwise provided as in the case of a civil action and the court may direct that issues be framed, and require other parties to be joined and to plead therein when necessary for the proper determination of the questions involved. The owners shall go forward with the evidence and have the burden of proof as in any other civil action, with the right to open and close. The court or jury trying the case shall reassess the damages de novo and apportion the same as the evidence and justice may require. Upon request of a party to such appeal, the jury or court shall show in the verdict or order the amount of the award of damages which is to reimburse the owner for the land taken and the amount of the award of damages, if any, which is to reimburse the owner for damages to the remainder tract not taken whether or not described in the petition. The amounts awarded to each person shall also be shown separately. A commissioner in a condemnation proceeding may be called by any party as a witness to testify as to the amount and the basis of the award of commissioners and may be examined and qualified as any other witness.
The court may, in its discretion, after a verdict has been rendered on the trial of an appeal, allow as taxable costs reasonable expert witness and appraisal fees of the owner, together with the owner's reasonable costs and disbursements. No expert witness fees, costs or disbursements shall be awarded to the petitioner regardless of who is the prevailing party.