Many people have heard the term eminent domain, but some may not know exactly what the government can do under this doctrine or how the process works. The following is a brief overview of eminent domain and, if you need any specific information, please call a qualified eminent domain attorney for help today.

Where do eminent domain powers come from?
The government has powers to take private property under common law. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States then places certain limitations on these powers, including:

•    The taking must be for “public use;” and
•    The government must provide “just compensation” to the property owner for the taking.

If these two criteria are met, the property can be condemned. This type of condemnation is not due to the state of the building or property but simply because the government is claiming it.

Initiating an eminent domain action
The government is required to notify a landowner if their property may be condemned for a project. Often, the government must try to reach a voluntary sales agreement with the landowner prior to initiating a legal action.

Can a landowner challenge a condemnation?
Outright challenges to an eminent domain action are rare and generally only occur if the project is clearly not for “public use.” However, a property owner can still challenge parts of the action, including the following:

•    Whether the government is claiming more land than necessary for the project;
•    Whether the amount offered for the property actual constitutes just compensation based on the owner’s losses.

An eminent domain lawyer in Indiana can help you
If you receive notice of a project that has been proposed that may affect your land ownership rights, you should never delay in calling an experienced Indiana condemnation attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you contact the law office of Sever Storey LLP, the sooner we can begin protecting your rights as a property owner. We handle eminent domain cases for both residential and commercial properties, so please do not hesitate to call our office at 888-318-3761 to assistance today.