Sever | Storey Blog

I-69 Alternative Routes to be Announced


INDOT says the selected routes were based on public input, cost, the “draft Purpose and Need performance measures” and the impact to human and natural environments.

INDOTS’s I-69 Section 6 project team will make the announcement on Tuesday, June 30 at 2:00 p.m. in Martinsville.

Currently, drivers can use I-69 from Evansville to Crane. That stretch opened in November 2012. INDOT says Crane to Bloomington is scheduled to open at the end of 2015, and Bloomington to Martinsville is scheduled to open at the end of 2016. A completion date for the final stretch from Martinsville to Indy has not been determined.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the I-69 Road Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at

What If I Own a Business on Property Subject to Eminent Domain But Not the Land Itself?


In most eminent domain cases, focus is generally upon the landowner of the commercial or residential property that the government is trying to take under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.1 However, eminent domain takings can affect a number of people who are not the actual owner of the property. This is especially true in cases that involve commercial property that houses a business owned by someone other than the landowner. A condemnation of the property can have an extremely adverse effect on such business owners who lease commercial property and they may lose substantial profits because of the loss of their business's location. This leads many business owners to call an experienced eminent domain attorney to discuss their rights.

Though you will not be compensated for any of the value of leased property itself, some state laws allow business owners to recover for “goodwill,2 which is an intangible measure of the value of the business and its future prospects. An attorney who is highly familiar with eminent domain laws will be able to tell you whether this is the case in your particular state. Location is often one of the most important aspects of the success of a specific business. If you lose your location through eminent domain, you may have to sacrifice certain customers or amenities that lower costs.

For example, if you currently lease a commercial space for your business in the center of the town square, you may not be able to find a vacancy in a similar location. If the only appropriate location is on the outskirts of town, you may lose foot traffic or customers who are not willing to travel farther to be a patron. You may file a claim for compensation for the loss of this patronage as part of your business goodwill.

An experienced eminent domain attorney can help you

If you are a business owner who is losing your location due to condemnation, you deserve to recover for your lost business goodwill. Call an experienced condemnation lawyer at 888-318-3761 to discuss your rights today.




Can I Fight an Eminent Domain Action Against My Property?

The Fifth Amendment1 of the U.S. Constitution gives the government the power to claim private property through a regulatory taking. This concept is referred to as “eminent domain.” The government's power to take property under eminent domain is not without limit, however, as certain circumstances must exist for the taking to be valid and legal. If these circumstances do not exist, landowners can fight against an eminent domain action in court. Though the government may seem like a formidable adversary in court, landowners have mounted successful challenges to takings of their property with the assistance of a skilled eminent domain attorney.

Basis for legal challenges

In order for the government to legally take your property, the purpose of the taking must be for “public use.”2 Common examples of public use can include:

  • Building schools or libraries
  • Constructing or expanding roads
  • Building fire stations, police stations, or other government facilities
  • Designing parks

In addition to the above traditional uses, courts have expanded the definition of “public use” to include any projects that may simply benefit the public. This can include making way for commercial centers or other private developments that may increase tax revenue. Though “public use” is broadly interpreted, you can challenge a taking if you believe that there is no valid public benefit from the planned project.

You may also challenge a taking if you believe that your property is not necessary for the project. Furthermore, if the government is trying to take your entire property, you can argue that only part of the property is necessary for the project and you may be able to retain ownership of the rest of your property.

Consult with an eminent domain attorney at Sever Storey to discuss your rights today

Fighting eminent domain may be possible in certain situations and the experienced condemnation lawyers at the law firm of Sever Storey can identify whether this is an option for you. Even if you do not have the proper basis to entirely fight a taking, our skilled eminent domain team will work to make sure your landowner rights are fully protected and that you receive full and fair compensation for any part of your property that is taken by the government. Please call for a free consultation at 888-318-3761 today.





Landowners leery of Dakota Access Pipeline


KILLDEER — More than 80 people turned out Monday for a public hearing on the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, which is planned to carry Bakken crude into the Illinois heartland crossing more than 200 miles through seven North Dakota counties.

The Public Service Commission hearing in Killdeer was the second of three, and most who attended were landowners who would be directly impacted by the project.

It’ll be months before the PSC decides whether to issue a route permit. In the meantime, the company is negotiating easements and 34 of those landowners are intervening in the pipeline’s case, mainly to ensure that they get the kind of reclamation they desire.

Enbridge, on behalf of the Sandpiper pipeline, is also intervening. Its attorney says it’s not protesting Dakota Access, just protecting its location.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Dakota Access Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at

Photo:  Donovan, L (photographer). (2015). Retrieved From:

Federal judge strikes another blow against proposed Illiana Tollway


CHICAGO — A U.S. District Court judge in Chicago ruled Tuesday that the federal government’s approval of the proposed Illiana Tollway linking northern Illinois and Indiana is invalid.

Judge Jorge Alonso ruled the Federal Highway Administration’s 2013 endorsement of the bi-state project was “arbitrary and capricious” and in violation of U.S. environmental law.

Earlier this month, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner announced plans to kill the expressway between Interstates 55 and 65 south of Chicago as he battled with the Legislature over the state’s budget. He suspended the work in January, questioning its need. Indiana has also suspended work on the project pending a cost-benefit review.

Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, supported the expressway. Last month, the FHA approved plans for the project, giving officials the green light to begin looking for public-private partnerships to construct, maintain and operate the tollway.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Illiana Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at

Photo:  Rex, C (photographer). (2015). Retrieved From:

Missouri PSC expected to vote down Clean Line request

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Clean Line Energy’s bid to gain public utility status in Missouri could soon be voted down.

Representatives from both sides of the polarizing debate have responded after a majority of the Missouri Public Services Commission indicated last Tuesday, June 2, they would not be voting in favor of the application. Tuesday’s discussion wasn’t the official vote. A regulatory judge will need to draft an order which would later be voted on by the commission.

The Grain Belt Express Clean Line is a proposed direct current, 780-mile overhead line intended to carry wind-generated energy in Kansas through Missouri into Illinois and points east. A little more than 200 miles of the line would coming through Missouri, including a segment here in Clinton County.

Clean Line Energy Partners voiced their disappointment in a press release that same day.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Old Salem Road Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at

Photo:  Retrieved From:

INDOT to hold public hearing on Old Salem Road extension


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JEFFERSONVILLE — Indiana Department of Transportation officials will conduct a public hearing for proposed reconstruction and extension of Old Salem Road at Utica on Wednesday, June 17, at Utica Elementary School, 210 Maplehurst Drive, Jeffersonville.

The proposed project would extend Old Salem Road from Fourth Street at Utica northwest to the new interchange at Ind. 265. It would reconstruct the existing road to accommodate two 11-foot wide lanes in each direction. Plans call for sidewalks on either side of Old Salem Road between Fourth and Sixth streets. A structure over Lentzier Creek would be replaced, according to an INDOT press release.

The Old Salem Road project requires about 12 acres of permanent right-of-way acquisition. No displacement of residents or businesses is anticipated.

An informal open house begins at 5:30 p.m. allowing attendees an opportunity to view informational displays and talk one-on-one about the proposed project with engineering designers, real estate representatives and INDOT personnel. At 6 p.m., the public hearing gets underway with a formal presentation of preliminary plans. Interested persons will then be encouraged to make public comment about the proposal. These comments will be recorded and reviewed before further development of engineering plans.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Old Salem Road Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at

Photo:  Retrieved From:

Major oil pipeline planned near Springfield


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Construction could start soon on a major pipeline passing through Illinois, but the project faces negotiations with landowners and opposition from environmentalists.

The pipeline, which would connect the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to the Gulf of Mexico, would run southwest of Springfield, passing Jacksonville, Litchfield and other nearby cities. The project would require some landowners to sell their property through eminent domain. It comes on the heels of a similar but separate project – the Keystone XL pipeline – being vetoed by President Barack Obama.

Texas-based company Energy Transfer Partners seeks permission from the Illinois Commerce Commission to build a pipeline through the state. The company must get permission not only to build the pipeline, but also to use eminent domain powers for land acquisition.

The pipeline would enter the state from Iowa near Carthage, Illinois, and travel southeast to the regionally important hub at Patoka in southern Illinois. That leg would be called the Dakota Access Pipeline. Another leg, called the ETCO pipeline, would be made by repurposing an existing natural gas line that runs from Patoka to the Gulf Coast of Texas.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Dakota Access Pipeline Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at

Photo:  Wheeler, J (photographer). (2015). Retrieved From:

How is Loss of Business Goodwill Compensated in an Eminent Domain Case?

The government does not just use eminent domain powers1 to take residential property, but also can use this power to take property that houses commercial businesses. Business owners deserve compensation for all of their related losses, including any business goodwill2 that may be lost. Goodwill is the value of your business that is not directly attributable to actual assets of the business.

How is goodwill value determined?

Many factors are considered in order to put a financial value on the intangible goodwill of your business. Some of these factors include as follows:

  • Nature of the business industry and future prospects for industry growth or decline
  • Length of time that the business has been operating
  • Reputation of the business for quality, dependability, and skill
  • Nature and size of the customer base and probability of customer retention as well as future growth
  • State of the economy in general
  • Length and security of the business's occupancy of the property
  • Types of business risks

In order to complete financial calculations based on the above factors, you want to have the assistance of a highly experienced business appraiser. The appraiser you choose should understand how to calculate the value of your business's goodwill specifically within the context of eminent domain cases. Furthermore, the government will likely try to combat your claims of goodwill value by presenting evidence from their own appraiser. The expert on your side should be able to cast doubt on the estimations presented by the government's appraisers as well as assert their own estimations.

Call the experienced eminent domain lawyers at the law firm of Sever Storey today

If the future of your business has been threatened by a government taking, you deserve the maximum amount of compensation possible, including for your business goodwill. You need a law firm on your side that has the resources to hire experienced eminent domain appraisers and other experts who can perform the complicated calculation necessary to get you what you deserve in your condemnation case.  Please do not hesitate to call the condemnation attorneys at Sever Storey for help at 888-318-3761 today.





Part of Eastern Corridor roadway plan killed


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UNION TOWNSHIP The state has killed a controversial plan to relocate a major commuter route through parts of eastern Hamilton County – ending an arduous, years-long battle between residents and public officials.

The plan to re-route a part of Ohio 32 around Newtown and through historic land in Mariemont has been scrapped, state officials told The Enquirer on Thursday. Work will continue on other parts of the $1 billion Eastern Corridor project across eastern Hamilton and western Clermont counties, but eliminating a big chunk of the Ohio 32 relocation plan could untangle a bureaucratic mess.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the Eastern Corridor Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at

Photo:  Williams, J (photographer). (2015). Retrieved From:

Educational Videos

Sever Storey is passionate about helping landowners. We have created a video library packed with knowledge and information to help landowners gain more facts about the eminent domain process. Please watch the video's and let us know if you have any questions that we can help answer.



S. Joliet Road/US 30/W Lincoln Highway

This road improvement project will be taking place at the corner of U.S. 30 and IL 59 (Division St.) south to I-55 in Plainfield, IL. Approximately $6,000,000 in land acquisition for 2011-2012 alone is planned for this road project running along the west side of...