(a) If a demand for payment under Section 10A-2-13.28 remains unsettled, the corporation shall commence a proceeding within 60 days after receiving the payment demand and petition the court to determine the fair value of the shares and accrued interest. If the corporation does not commence the proceeding within the 60 day period, it shall pay each dissenter whose demand remains unsettled the amount demanded.
(b) The corporation shall commence the proceeding in the circuit court of the county where the corporation's principal office, or, if none in this state, its registered office, is located. If the corporation is a foreign corporation without a registered office in this state, it shall commence the proceeding in the county in this state where the registered office of the domestic corporation merged with or whose shares were acquired by the foreign corporation was located.
(c) The corporation shall make all dissenters, whether or not residents of this state, whose demands remain unsettled parties to the proceeding as in an action against their shares, and all parties must be served with a copy of the petition. Nonresidents may be served by registered or certified mail or by publication as provided under the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure.
(d) After service is completed, the corporation shall deposit with the clerk of the court an amount sufficient to pay unsettled claims of all dissenters party to the action in an amount per share equal to its prior estimate of fair value, plus accrued interest, under Section 10A-2-13.25.
(e) The jurisdiction of the court in which the proceeding is commenced under subsection (b) is plenary and exclusive. The court may appoint one or more persons as appraisers to receive evidence and recommend decision on the question of fair value. The appraisers have the powers described in the order appointing them, or in any amendment to it. The dissenters are entitled to the same discovery rights as parties in other civil proceedings.
(f) Each dissenter made a party to the proceeding is entitled to judgment for the amount the court finds to be the fair value of his or her shares, plus accrued interest. If the court's determination as to the fair value of a dissenter's shares, plus accrued interest, is higher than the amount estimated by the corporation and deposited with the clerk of the court pursuant to subsection (d), the corporation shall pay the excess to the dissenting shareholder. If the court's determination as to fair value, plus accrued interest, of a dissenter's shares is less than the amount estimated by the corporation and deposited with the clerk of the court pursuant to subsection (d), then the clerk shall return the balance of funds deposited, less any costs under Section 10A-2-13.31, to the corporation.
(g) Upon payment of the judgment, and surrender to the corporation of the certificate or certificates representing the appraised shares, a dissenting shareholder ceases to have any interest in the shares.