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Eminent Domain Law Attorneys in Georgia

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At Sever Storey, our mission is to hold condemners, whether they be state, federal, local, utility, or other accountable to the landowners whose land they are acquiring. Our entire firm is built around serving you, the landowner who is facing eminent domain or condemnation.

Don’t fight eminent domain alone. Contact us today to get answers to your questions and support in a perilous time. Our experienced attorneys are here to help you get the justice you deserve.
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What is Eminent Domain Law in Georgia?

Eminent domain in Georgia is defined as the right of the government, or other condemnor, to seize private land for a public use. This right can be exercised at any level of government-- including local, state, and federal--and in some instances can be used by private entities (such as utility companies). When the entity exercises this right, the procedure by which the property is acquired is referred to as condemnation. Consequently, an entity exercising eminent domain authority is referred to as a “condemnor.”

What Should Landowners Do After Receiving an Eminent Domain Notice in Georgia?

It’s certainly very jarring to receive a notice of eminent domain in Georgia—but please know that there are experts available to help you through this confusing process. The condemnor has likely been planning the project and the taking of your land for years; swift action is vital to securing the best possible result.

Stopping an acquisition altogether is very difficult and generally requires that the condemnor violate the law in its pre-condemnation acquisition process. Getting the right amount of compensation, however, is a more “winnable” battle. A landowner that adheres to the following steps will best position themselves for success during eminent domain:

1. Hire an Eminent Domain Attorney in Georgia

The most important step to take when first receiving an offer of compensation from the condemnor is to consult with a professional eminent domain attorney. A qualified and experienced eminent domain attorney in Georgia will be able to properly evaluate your offer from the condemnor and formulate a strategy based on the nuances of the property and the case. An eminent domain attorney can advise on whether the case is one best handled pre-suit or during litigation.

2. Get Educated on Landowner Rights

Consult with your eminent domain attorney to learn more about landowner rights in Georgia. Though you may feel powerless, there are several key rights you have that allow you to stand up to the government and earn greater compensation, or—in rare cases—stop the process completely.

3. Negotiate with the Help of Your Attorney

Luckily, your attorney will be there to negotiate, deliberate, and drive litigation as needed. You may have many questions as you go through this process, and your lawyer will bear the load as you learn about all possible outcomes.

4. Resolve the Case

All eminent domain cases eventually resolve but the real questions are when do they resolve and for how much? Knowing when to strike and when to hold is an important part of the eminent domain process. Some cases can be concluded in a couple months; whereas others may require a year or more. A qualified eminent domain attorney should be able to efficiently drive the case forward while also being able to recognize when resolution should occur.

What Are the Limits of Eminent Domain in Georgia

A condemnor must operate under certain restrictions and limitations when exercising eminent domain authority in Georgia. Here are four factors that limit the power of eminent domain:
- Public Use: The property to be acquired must be taken for a dedicated and defined “public use” (e.g. roads, libraries, railroads, parks, etc.)
- Just Compensation: The landowner is entitled to “just compensation” for the acquisition of his or her property.
- Negotiation: The landowner is entitled to a good faith, bona fide offer of compensation from the condemnor prior to condemnation. The landowner is entitled to reject this offer.
- Notice of Condemnation: If the matter reaches condemnation (litigation), the landowner is entitled to service and notice of the lawsuit.

How Sever Storey Can Help You

Sever Storey is ready to help you fight for your rights. As experienced condemnation and eminent domain attorneys in Georgia, we’ve assisted countless landowners across the state as they face off against condemnors.

Our legal advice will give you reassurance and confidence in a time of uncertainty. We make it our mission to provide every client with the full compensation they deserve, whether the condemnation is large or small.

The government doesn’t usually consider all of the harm done to landowners in the process of eminent domain, but we will use our experience to get the best possible deal.

If you have received an offer of compensation, or believe you will be affected by eminent domain in the near future, call Jordan Walker at 1-888-318-3761 or email him at jordan@landownerattorneys.com. We do not charge or bill landowners for case reviews.

FAQs

What is Eminent Domain Law in Georgia?

Eminent domain is the power of the government to take or use private land for a public benefit, such as a highway or electrical transmission line. The acquisition process is called “condemnation.” Eminent domain law in Georgia includes the myriad rules and precedents used to fight for a favorable outcome.

You are entitled to fair compensation during condemnation, but government workers often do not initially quote a fair price to landowners. In addition, they may retain the services of experts and highly-paid attorneys to represent their side of the case.

Can Eminent Domain in Georgia Be Stopped?

Eminent domain, in practice, is not necessarily about stopping an acquisition as much as it is about getting the right compensation for the acquisition. While it is possible to stop a taking, and Sever Storey has a track record of doing exactly that, those situations are rare and require an intensive analysis of both facts and the law. If a condemnor does not follow condemnation law, you may have an argument for stopping the taking. If the condemnor does follow the law, your likely best bet is to focus your attention on getting the right amount of compensation for what the acquisition is doing to the property.

Eminent Domain Just Compensation in Georgia

The government must provide just compensation in exchange for the taking of any land. So what is considered to be “just?” Unfortunately, condemnors do not always operate with the landowners’ concerns in mind and will often issue low-ball offers, with the threat of eminent domain as a cudgel, to unsuspecting landowners.

With the help of an attorney, you can fight for the compensation you are entitled to under the law.

Eminent Domain Relocation Costs in Georgia

As with any move, relocating a business or home can be very costly. The government is required to provide adequate relocation compensation to cover these expenses—but many landowners get the short end of the deal.

Hiring the right attorney will allow you to increase the likelihood of being treated fairly and receiving the relocation benefits you deserve.

How Long Do Eminent Domain Cases Take in Georgia?

Some eminent domain cases can take just a few months to resolve, while other cases may draw out for 12-18 months or more. There are many factors that influence the timeline of eminent domain cases in Georgia, but the biggest driver of length of a case is the difference in negotiating positions between the parties. For example, a case where the parties are only $2,000 apart will be resolved much quicker than one where the parties are $2,000,000 apart. A qualified experienced eminent domain attorney will matriculate the case at a brisk pace while also keeping an eye toward the right resolution.

Do I Have To Accept the Condemnor's First Offer?

No. As a matter of principle, we recommend landowners reject condemnor’s first offer of compensation and immediately contact an experienced attorney for advice on that offer. Way too often landowners get intimidated or pressured into accepting the first offer of compensation. These landowners are possibly forfeiting thousands of dollars out of ignorance, fear, or both.

The absolute first thing you should do as a landowner when you receive your first offer of compensation is to contact an experienced eminent domain attorney. Our firm does not charge landowners for offer reviews, and we will be happy to promptly review your offer and/or appraisal for free. All you have to do is call Jordan at 1-888-318-3761 or email him at jordan@landownerattorneys.com.

Should I Be Scared of Eminent Domain in Georgia?

As long as you are represented by experienced, knowledgeable counsel and have a plan of attack against the condemnor, you should welcome eminent domain with open arms. Many condemnors use the words “eminent domain” or “condemnation” as a cudgel or hammer in their negotiations with landowners. They do this because they know that landowners are intimidated by the connotations associated with those terms. In reality, if a landowner is appropriately represented and has a real shot at more compensation, they should be thrilled that the condemnor is choosing eminent domain to resolve the matter.

Unlike pre-condemnation negotiations, your compensation no longer is determined by the condemnor but ultimately it is left in the hands of your peers. It is the law in Georgia that a landowner is entitled to a jury trial in eminent domain proceedings—meaning if your case reaches trial, a jury of citizens in your county will determine what you are entitled to. Condemnors hate this. As a landowner, you should welcome it.

Eminent domain procedure is governed by the Georgia Code. Any condemnor must follow certain procedures and rules before and during the condemnation of your property. Below is a link to the Georgia eminent domain statutes for your perusal. If you have any questions about eminent domain procedure please feel free to call at 888-318-3761 or email me at jordan@landownerattorneys.com.

Eminent Domain Projects in Georgia

Due to recent funding initiatives, the State of Georgia has found itself with an influx of cash to spend on new roads. The Georgia Department of Transportation has set its sights on many new road projects, and with these come eminent domain cases.

Sever Storey is making a concerted effort to reach out to Georgia landowners that may have their land acquired via eminent domain. If you are affected, please do not hesitate to contact us.

SR 9 (FORSYTH COUNTY)

Widen SR 9 (Atlanta Hwy) from Alpharetta to Cumming, while incorporating intersection improvements. Limits of the project extend from the Fulton/Forsyth County line to SR 141.

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SR 9 (FULTON COUNTY)

Widen SR 9 (Cumming Hwy) from Upper Hembree to Forsyth County Line.

More Detailed Information on SR 9 (Fulton County) Project.

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SR 13 BUFORD

The project is located along SR 13/Buford Hwy from 400 Feet North of Afton Lane to Shallowford Terrace, approximately 2.6 mile in length.

More Detailed Information on SR 13 Buford Project.

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SPOUT SPRINGS ROAD WIDENING

Hall County, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), is looking at ways to improve mobility along Spout Springs Road, roughly from Hog Mountain Road to New Friendship Road.

More Detailed Information on the Spout Springs Road Widening.

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SR 83 CONNECTOR

This project proposes to construct a new location, 4.7-mile connector that would provide a bypass around the historic downtown City of Monroe.

More Detailed Information on the SR 83 Connector Project.

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SR 20 (CANTON TO CUMMING)

This project is a 20-mile widening of SR 20 from I-575 in Canton to Cumming. Jurisdictions along the corridor include the City of Canton, unincorporated communities of Buffington, Macedonia, Orange, and Free Home in Cherokee County, as well as the unincorporated community of Ducktown and the City of Cumming in Forsyth County.

More Detailed Information on the SR 20 (Canton to Cumming) Project.

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WEST WINDER BYPASS

From CR 325/Matthews School Rd to SR 211-Phase 1 Phase 1 (PI #0006327), West Winder Phase 1 begins at Mile Post 2.71 (MP 2.71), on Patrick Mill Rd just south of CR 325/Matthes School Rd, then crosses CR 325/Matthes School Rd.

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WINDY HILL-TERRELL MILL CONNECTOR

The new four-lane road will begin at the intersection of Spectrum Circle/Interstate North Parkway and Windy Hill Road and connect at the current Bentley Road and Terrell Mill Road intersection.

More Detailed Information for the Windy Hill-Terrell Mill Connector Project.

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SR 316 @ SR 11

Reconstruct the SR 316 @ SR 11 Interchange.

More Detailed Information for SR 316 @ SR 11 Project.

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SR 316 @ SR 53

Reconstruct the SR 316 @ SR 53 Interchange in Barrow County, GA.

More Detailed Information for SR 316 @ SR 53 Project.

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SR 92 (PAULDING)

This project would widen and reconstruct SR 92/Dallas Acworth Highway from Hiram Acworth Highway/Cedarcrest Road to US 41/SR 3/Cobb Parkway from a two-lane undivided roadway to a four-lane divided roadway with a twenty-foot raised median, curb and gutter, and sidewalks and from East Paulding Drive to CR 473/Old Burnt Hickory Road (see project location map).

More Detailed Information for SR 92 (Paulding) Project.

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I-285 @ BOULDERCREST

The proposed project would include a collector-distributor roadway system between the I-675/I-285 interchange and the I-285/Bouldercrest Road interchange.

More Detailed Information for I-285 Bouldercrest Project.

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SR 400 MCGINNIS FERRY INTERCHANGE AND WIDENING

This project will consist of construction a full diamond interchange on SR 400 at Mcginnis Ferry Road. The project would add northbound and southbound auxiliary lanes on SR 400 south to Windward Parkway ramps and north to McFarland Parkway ramps of the existing McGinnis Ferry Road bridge, which would be replaced. McGinnis Ferry Road would be widened to 4 lanes on the Fulton County side of SR 400 and to six lanes on the Forsyth side of 400 with a typical that would include curb and gutter with 5 foot sidewalks and/or a multi-use path. Right and Left turn lanes would be added and proposed bridge would be designed to span the future managed lanes on SR 400.

More Detailed Information for SR 400 McGinnis Ferry Interchange and Widening Project.

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SR1/US27/LAGRANGE

The proposed project would widen a portion of SR 1/US 27/Hamilton Road beginning just south of the intersection with Auburn Ave.

More Detailed Information for SR1/US27/LaGrange Project.

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US 441/SR 15

Improve US 441/SR 15 from CS 500/Clayburn Road, just inside Clayton’s northern limit, northward to the North Carolina state line.

More Detailed Information for US 441/SR 15 Project.

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SR 53

This project is the widening and reconstruction of S.R. 53 Business (BU) in Pickens County. The project begins at the intersection of SR 5I5 and SR 53 BU and continues to the intersection of CR 243/Industrial Boulevard and Burnt Mountain Road. The total project distance is approximately 2.6 miles, including a one-way pair section.

More Detailed Information for SR 53 Project.

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SR 166

The proposed State Route (SR) 166 widening and reconstruction project would begin just east of Big Indian Creek, located west of Bowdon, and end at the 4-lane section along the SR 166 South Carrollton Bypass just west of County Road (CR) 11/Hays Mill Road.

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SR 4

Widening & reconstruction of SR 4/15th Street/MLK Blvd from Milledgeville Road to Government Street in the City of Augusta. Total project length is 1.59 miles.

More Detailed Information for SR 4 Project.

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SR 4/US 1

Widen and Reconstruct SR 4/US 1 from Wadley Bypass to SR 88.

More Detailed Information for SR 4/US 1 Project.

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I-85 AND 324

The I-85 and SR 324 project proposes four new ramps to create a new location, full access diamond interchange with the existing overpass of (non-controlled access) SR 324 / Gravel Springs Road over (controlled access) I-85 / SR 403.

More Detailed Information for I-85 and 324 Project.

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BELLS FERRY ROAD WIDENING (CHEROKEE COUNTY)

The goals of this project are to alleviate the present and future traffic congestion on Bells Ferry Road and to reduce crash frequency. The preliminary proposed limits are at Southfork Way on the south end (connecting to an existing 4-lane section) and north of Victoria Road on the north end (connecting to an existing 2-lane section). The project will address capacity on the most congested portion of Bells Ferry Road.

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FURYS FERRY ROAD PROJECT (COLUMBIA COUNTY)

The proposed project will widen a 3.8 mile section of SR 28 in Columbia County, Georgia from Evans To Locks Road to the South Carolina State Line. It is proposed to widen the existing two lane section to a four lane urban section divided by a planted raised median with median breaks at designated locations. The project also includes the addition of sidewalks and bike lanes. The existing right of way varies from 90 to 160 feet. Additional right of way will be required for widening of the existing roadway, and will have a standard width of 145 feet, with additional right of way as required.

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MCGINNIS FERRY ROAD WIDENING (FORSYTH COUNTY)

The proposed project would consist of the widening of McGinnis Ferry Road from Sargent Road to Union Hill Road/Ronald Regan Blvd. located on the Fulton County line in southern Forsyth County. The length of the proposed project is approximately 4.58 miles. The proposed design includes two lanes in each direction with a 20-foot raised median. The design speed is 45 mph. The proposed outside shoulder wouldbe a 16-foot urban shoulder on the north side containing curb and gutter with a 10-foot multi-used path and on the south side would be a 12 foot-urban shoulder containing curb and gutter with 5-foot sidewalks.

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SR 400 EXPRESS LANES (FULTON COUNTY)

To improve mobility on State Route (SR) 400, the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) plans to add new, optional express lanes from the North Springs MARTA Station to McFarland Parkway.

• Two buffer-separated express lanes in each direction between the North Springs MARTA Station and McGinnis Ferry Road • One buffer-separated express lane in each direction from McGinnis Ferry Road to McFarland Parkway The SR 400 Express Lanes will be part of the larger Georgia Express Lanes system. The SR 400 Express Lanes is one of the Major Mobility Investment Program (MMIP) projects.

https://cdn.majormobilityga.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/17092237/SR-400-FAQ_13.pdf

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HISTORIC GATEWAY PROJECT (FULTON COUNTY)

GDOT is partnering with the City of Roswell to provide widening and improvement to SR 9. The project (aka Roswell Historic Gateway) will eliminate the three-lane reversible lanes on SR 9 between SR 120 and the Chattahoochee River crossing by adding one additional lane and a median of varying width along the entire 1.25-mile corridor. The project will also grade separate the intersection of SR 9 with Riverside Road/Azalea Drive and replace the deficient Riverside Road bridge crossing over Vickery Creek.

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SARDIS ROAD CONNECTOR (HALL COUNTY)

The SARDIS ROAD CONNECTOR is the widening and reconstruction of several existing local roads and streets with some new roadway on new alignment. This project STP-0003-00(626) begins at the Sardis Road /Chestatee Road intersection and extends north to SR 60 in the vicinity of the intersection with Mt. Vernon Road. The alignment follows several existing local roads with some of the roadway on new location.The total project length is approximately 3.55 miles and will provide a connector roadway between S.R. 53 to the south and S.R. 60 to the north. The proposed roadway will consist of a four lane curb and gutter divided roadway, 2 lanes in each direction separated with a 20 foot wide, 6 inch high curb and gutter median. Sidewalk will be provided on both sides of the road.

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SALEM ROAD (SR 162) WIDENING (NEWTON COUNTY)

Project 231210- & 0013628, SR 162/Salem Road involves widening Salem Road from just south of BrownBridge Road in Newton County to Flat Shoals Road in Rockdale County from the existing 2-lane roadway to a 4-lane roadway (2 lanes in each direction). Salem Road from Flat Shoals Road to the I-20 ramps will be widened from its existing 4-lane roadway to a 6-lane roadway. A 16-ft raised is proposed for the entire length of the project. A 12-ft shoulder that includes a 5-ft sidewalk will be on the east side. A 20-ft shoulder including a 10-ft shared use path, is proposed on the west side throughout the SR 162 corridor.

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ROME-CARTERSVILLE DEVELOPMENT CORRIDOR ROAD PROJECT (BARTOW COUNTY)

The proposed project will provide a connection between US 411 and I-75 in Bartow County. The project will allow for a more direct routing of U.S. 411 that will reduce through traffic along the SR 140 and U.S. 41/SR 20 corridors, and to accommodate current and future demand due to increasing population and employment growth in Bartow and Floyd counties. In addition to congestion relief along the aforementioned corridors, the project is anticipated to increase connectivity between Rome and the I-75 corridor which will help to improve local access and support economic development.

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I-285 TOP END EXPRESS LANES (FULTON COUNTY)

The I-285 Top End Express Lanes is one of the Major Mobility Investment Program (MMIP) projects to improve mobility along the northern portion of I-285 in metro Atlanta, one of the most heavily-traveled and congested interstate highways in America. These express lanes will be part of the larger Georgia Express Lanes network, designed to provide a connected transportation system with reliable trip times for motorists. I-285 Top End West Express Lanes: This construction package focuses on adding two new at-grade and elevated, barrier-separated express lanes in both directions of I-285 between Paces Ferry Road and SR 400. I-285 Top End East Express Lanes: The construction package focuses on adding two new at-grade and elevated, barrier-separated express lanes in both directions of I-285 between Henderson Road and SR 400, and north on SR 400 from the Glenridge Connector to the North Springs MARTA Station.

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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

What are the unique issues that face commercial property owners in condemnation that can make all the difference?

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POWERLINES & PIPELINES

Landowners forget this one thing when dealing with utility companies that want an easement across their land.

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ROAD & REDEVELOPMENT TAKINGS

What you need to know to be treated fairly by the condemning authority.

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CONTACT US

Before going alone against the State let us give you our opinion. It is our pledge that we will provide a free case review for any individual or business facing eminent domain or condemnation. Contact us now at 888-318-3761

* DIsclaimer: Form submission doesn’t constitute a client-attorney relationship/contract.
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