(a) The clerk or the judge on appeal shall appoint some competent attorney to appear for and protect the rights of any party in interest who is unknown or whose residence is unknown, and who has not appeared in the proceedings by an attorney or agent, and shall make an allowance to said attorney for his services which shall be taxed in the bill of costs. In such cases the State Treasurer as custodian of the Escheat Fund shall be notified of the appointment of such an attorney.
(b) The clerk or the judge on appeal shall have power at any time to amend any defect or informality in any of the special proceedings authorized by this Chapter as may be necessary, or to cause new parties to be added, and to direct such further notices to be given to any party in interest as it deems proper; and also to appoint other commissioners in place of any who shall die, refuse or neglect to serve or be incapable of serving. (1871-2, c. 138, s. 20; Code, s. 1948; Rev., s. 2592; C.S., s. 1728; 1981, c. 919, s. 1.)