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If you receive notice of a potential Illinois eminent domain action that will affect your property, you have the right to legally challenge the condemnation if there is a basis on which to do so. Some common reasons to challenge the condemnation of your property in court may include the following:

●    The condemnation is not intended for “public use” as required by the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution;1
●    Your property is not actually necessary for the project to be completed;
●    The hardship that would result from the condemnation outweighs the benefits.

Challenges are not always successful, however, and a recent case out of Illinois is an example of how a company tried unsuccessfully to fight against an eminent domain action for part of its property.

While railroads can often be the reason behind eminent domain cases, in this case, Canadian Pacific Railroad is fighting against seizure of part of a railyard after the Illinois Tollway Authority had filed a notice that it intended to take part of the railyard. The Railroad claimed hardship on the part of the Tollway, taxpayers, and interstate commerce if the highway was built through the railyard. The court, however, disagreed and denied the injunction that would stop the seizure of the land. This leads to the question: Can you appeal an eminent domain decision that is against your interests as a landowner?

The answer is yes, and the Railroad has filed an appeal of the decision2 in lower Illinois courts. Landowners do have the ability to appeal a decision to higher courts, just as in many other types of legal actions. You need an attorney on your side who can advise you whether you should appeal and who knows how the appeal process works.

Find Out How an Experienced Condemnation Lawyer Can Help You

Receiving an adverse decision in an eminent domain case can be distressing. However, as a landowner, it is important to know that you do have options to negotiate and appeal in your case. Even if the condemnation moves forward, an experienced eminent domain attorney can still protect your rights by ensuring that you receive the compensation for your property that you deserve through negotiations and independent appraisals. If you are a landowner facing possible condemnation, please call the law office of Sever Storey, LLP at 888-318-3761 for more information about how we can help you.