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Receiving notice that someone is planning to take your property through the use of eminent domain can upset you, particularly if the property in question is also your home. If you have found yourself in this situation, you may wonder whether you can do anything to fight back and stay where you are. Here are some of the legal challenges to a proposed eminent domain action that landowners may raise.
Eminent domain allows the government to seize private property with certain conditions. In practice, however, the government often authorizes private parties like utility companies to exercise eminent domain on the government’s behalf. In some cases, you might challenge whether the government properly authorized the party attempting to exercise eminent domain to do so. If it did not, then the court may invalidate the attempted exercise.
To take private property through eminent domain, the government must have a public purpose, and the condemning authority (the party seeking to take the land) must provide the landowner with just compensation. If a landowner can show that the proposed project does not fulfill the public purpose requirement, the landowner might successfully challenge the taking.
The meaning of public purpose in the context of eminent domain, however, goes beyond the construction of schools, hospitals, roads, and the like. Courts have interpreted the public purpose requirement broadly over the years, to the extent that the government has used eminent domain to transfer property from one private owner to another for the purpose of general economic development.
Most attempted exercises of eminent domain are valid. As a result, getting as much compensation as you can for your property may form the most favorable outcome in your case.
Retain an attorney as soon as you find out that your property is possibly subject to eminent domain. Not surprisingly, a significant difference may exist between what landowners think their properties are worth and what condemning authorities offer, and the representation of a lawyer can make sure that you get the compensation you deserve under the law. There is no financial risk associated with retaining the lawyers of Sever Story to represent you, as we will only collect legal fees on any amount we negotiate above your initial offer.
If you believe that your property is subject to an eminent domain action, speak to a lawyer as soon as you can. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced eminent domain attorney, call Sever Storey today at (888) 318-3761 or contact us online.
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