Ohio State Bar Association describes eminent domain as the power of federal, state and local governments, as well as certain private companies such as railroads and utilities, to take private property and devote it to a public use.  

The Fifth Amendment[2] of the Constitution states “… nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The usual process of obtaining land through eminent domain includes the passage of a resolution by the acquiring agency to take the property, known as condemnation, including a declaration of public need, followed by an appraisal and an offer, generally with some opportunity for negotiation. If the offer is not accepted, the agency may then file a petition in court to acquire the property by eminent domain. If the owner wishes to challenge the petition, the owner must file an answer in the court case in a timely manner.

Ohio Challenges to Condemnation

An Ohio landowner can potentially challenge the authority of an agency to acquire the property, the necessity of the acquisition, and/or the amount of compensation to be paid for the property within the court case. Challenging the authority or the necessity of the acquisition can often be a difficult burden for a landowner making it necessary to speak to an Ohio eminent domain attorney as soon as the landowner receives notice of the requested condemnation.   

Compensation for the Ohio rural landowner

A landowner is to be compensated for the property that is taken as well as any decrease in value or damage to the remaining portion of the property.  The measure of compensation is the difference between the value of the property before the acquisition and the value of the property after the acquisition.  This compensation may include damage to crops as well as compensation for temporary use of the land during construction. The testimony of a qualified appraiser is generally necessary to prove the compensation and many eminent domain trials end up dominated by the testimony of the parties’ appraisers.

Contact an Ohio Condemnation Attorney

Condemnation negotiations are very complex and each property is unique. If you are a landowner involved in easement agreement negotiations and other eminent domain proceedings, the condemning authority will try to get your consent quickly. Contact the skilled Ohio condemnation attorneys at the law office of Sever Storey, LLP toady. Please call today at 888-318-3761 for help.


[2] https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-CONAN-1992/pdf/GPO-CONAN-1992-10-6.pdf