A common question we receive is regarding the time frame of a typical eminent domain1 case. While every case is different and the procedural laws vary from state to state, the following is some basic information regarding the time line of a condemnation action from the landowner's point of view.
Presentation of a project
Eminent domain cases all begin with a project planned by the government, utility company, or even a private developer in some cases. The planner must present the the project to the public, including landowners that may be affected by the project. This presentation generally includes information on the time frame within which funding and construction will occur.
Notification to the property owner
The next step is for the condemning party to notify the landowners of the appraiser that will determine the value of the property and when the appraisal will take place. In many cases, the property owner may be requested to be present for the appraisal.
A couple of months after the appraisal, the government makes an offer to the landowner. While this offer is supposed to constitute “just compensation” for the property taking, the first offer is rarely adequate. For this reason, you should always have the offer reviewed by an experienced condemnation attorney to learn about your options.
If the offer is deemed to be fair, you can simply accept it and the case concludes. However, if you believe you deserve more compensation, your attorney can then begin negotiations with the government regarding the offer. You may have your own appraisal company estimate the value of your property to challenge the accuracy of the first appraisal. When you come to an agreement with the government in negotiations, your case will end.
Call an experienced condemnation attorney for assistance as soon as possible
There can be many different time lines for eminent domain cases. For instance, the case may last longer if you cannot reach an agreement over compensation or if you wish to challenge the condemnation action altogether. At the law firm of Sever Storey, our attorneys will provide the highest quality of eminent domain representation, so call today at 888-318-3761 for assistance.