Anyone who receives notice that their property is the subject of an eminent domain1 action should consult with an attorney who specializes in eminent domain, otherwise known as condemnation. Unfortunately, too many people avoid consulting a lawyer for a variety of reasons, including:
- They believe the government would have their best interests in mind and would offer fair compensation.
- They do not want to impede progress for the “public good.”
- They are intimidated and believe there is no other option but to cooperate.
None of the above assumptions are accurate, however, and landowners can protect their rights and obtain the maximum amount of compensation with the help of an experienced condemnation attorney. An attorney can help you in the following ways and more:
Advise you of your rights
Government agencies cannot simply come in and take any property that they want. First, the 5th Amendment2 requires that they adequately demonstrate that the condemnation will truly be for public use and meet other criteria. You have the right to require the state to meet the criteria prior to taking your property. Additionally, if only part of your property is actually necessary, you have the right to protect your ownership of the rest of your property that is not needed for the project.
Ensure you receive fair compensation
The government, like anyone else, is trying to conserve funds. For this reason, the first offer for your property is often the lowest amount it deems possible and rarely constitutes full reasonable compensation. An attorney has the resources to help you receive the amount you deserve for the value of your property, relocation expenses, and more.
Guide you through a complication process
Eminent domain cases and related laws are complex and can be confusing to the average property owner. A skilled lawyer can help guide you through every step of the process and can represent you in every stage of your case to protect your rights.
If you are a landowner and the government wants to take your property under eminent domain, you should always contact an experienced condemnation attorney as soon as possible. Call the office of Sever Storey today at 888-318-3761 to discuss your case.