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Eminent Domain Attorneys in Georgia

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Experienced Eminent Domain Attorneys in Georgia

Georgia is an excellent place to live with its year-round warm weather, numerous outdoor activities, friendly residents, and affordable housing. However, life in the Peach State may turn sour when you find out your home has been condemned. Having an eminent domain attorney in Georgia on your side is invaluable when confronted with this problem.

Under the Georgia Code, eminent domain is the right of the state to take any land—even privately-owned properties—for the public’s benefit. Besides the state and its municipal government, others can acquire your land, including federal authorities, utility companies, and private entities.

What Are Your Property Rights as a Georgia Landowner?

Following the controversial decision on Kelo v. City of New London, Georgia enacted the Landowner’s Bill of Rights in 2006 to widen the protection for private property owners concerning eminent domain.

The bill outlines the rules and processes that condemning authorities must follow before taking privately held property. It requires condemners to negotiate with the landowner. They must also allow the landowner or their agent to participate in the evaluation, estimate just compensation, and offer to acquire the property for the full amount.

These and other procedures protect Georgia landowners from one-sided negotiations favoring condemners, potentially leading to eminent domain abuse. If your property is under threat, it’s best to consult an eminent domain attorney in Georgia.

Eminent Domain Laws in Georgia

In Georgia, like most other states, the right to exercise eminent domain should only be for a public purpose and not for private gain or use.

The “public purpose” is categorized into public use and public benefit. The former doesn’t necessarily mean the general public can use the land but rather that it is used for a public service, such as a power plant or rail yard. However, public benefit offers necessity, convenience, or welfare to the community.

A landowner may challenge what constitutes the public purpose; however, the courts rarely intervene when defining a condemnation’s public use or benefit. What you can do instead is to question the condemner’s actions—did they strictly adhere to procedures such as offering just and adequate compensation? If they fail to follow the established protocols, you can pursue legal action with the help of an experienced eminent domain attorney in Georgia.

When Do You Need an Eminent Domain Attorney in Georgia?

Receiving a condemnation notice can be intimidating to property owners, especially if they have lived on the land long or run a business on the affected land. While you can handle the case yourself, the chances of favorable results are often slim.

Eminent domain laws are complex and nuanced; one misstep can adversely impact your compensation claim. Moreover, they bank on the idea that property owners do not understand how much settlement they’re entitled to, know their legal rights, or are unfamiliar with the entire process.

But if you retain an attorney well-versed in eminent domain and condemnation, you will not be at a disadvantage during negotiations and can push back.

Let Sever Storey Help You

When you need an eminent domain attorney in Georgia, turn to Sever Storey. They have extensive experience handling eminent domain cases in Georgia, helping you prospect your rights and receive fair compensation for your property.

Schedule an initial appointment, or browse our FAQ page for more information.

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.

CR 1385

This project will add turn lanes on Buffington Road from Royal S Pkwy to Sable Chase Lane. Buffington Road is a two-lane urban minor arterial with mainly residential development between Royal S Pkwy and Sable Chase Lane.

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Hammond Drive Widening

The project limits are Hammond Drive from Roswell Road (State Route 9) to Glenridge Drive. The goals of this project are to improve safety, mobility, and improve pedestrian/bicycle access

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I-20/I-285 Eastside Interchange (DeKalb County)

Reconstructing I-285/I-20 East Interchange ramps with more direct alignments and additional lanes where warranted Constructing new collector-distributor (CD)* road along westbound I-20 and an additional lane in the eastbound I-20 CD road between the I-285/I-20 East Interchange and Wesley Chapel Road, adding auxiliary lanes along I-20 and I-285*, replacing the Miller Road and Fairington Road bridges over I-20, and the I-20 bridge over Snapfinger Creek, widening the I-285 northbound bridge over Snapfinger Road, and constructing new noise barriers where feasible and reasonable per the preliminary noise impact assessment

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I-20/I-285 Westside Interchange (Fulton County)

the I-285/I-20 West Interchange project calls for improvements of the interchange and addition of lanes along I-20 in Cobb, Douglas, and Fulton counties. Additional work includes construction of collector-distributor (CD) lanes and the modification or replacements of bridges along I-20. This project, once completed, will provide more efficient traffic flow through the interchange.

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I-285 Eastside Express Lanes (DeKalb County)

To improve mobility on I-285, Georgia DOT plans to add new, optional express lanes consisting of one new buffer-separated express lane in each direction on I-285 between I-20 and Henderson Road in DeKalb County. The I-285 Eastside Express Lanes will be part of the larger Georgia Express Lanes system.

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I-75 Expansion

I-75 from I-475 to SR 155 - Commercial Vehicle Lanes.

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I-85/SR 138 Interchange

The proposed project is approximately 1.79 miles along SR 138 Jonesboro Road from Goodson Connector to Buffington Road. The project includes the modification of the SR 138 and I-85 interchange to a diverging diamond interchange. The northbound entrance ramp to I-85 and the southbound exit ramp to Jonesboro Rd/ SR 138 will be lengthen to improve capacity and merging operations. Jonesboro Rd/ SR 138 will add a shared through and right turn lanes from Goodson Connector to Lestor Road, providing 3 lanes in each direction. The project will also interconnect and upgrade the signals along SR 138 from Goodson Connector on the west to Buffington Road to the east of the interchange. Landscaping and pedestrian lighting will be improved along Jonesboro Rd/SR 138. The entire project is located in Fulton County and within the city limits of Union City.

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I-85/SR 42 Interchange

The interchange proposed for I-85 at SR 42/North Druid Hills Road is a Displaced Left Turn Interchange (DLTI) for the westbound to southbound movement, which includes construction of an additional structure over I-85. Another key improvement is a braided ramp from I-85 NB Off-Ramp to I-85 NB Access Road. This project also includes replacing the SR 42 bridge over Peachtree Creek and constructing a bridge for the I-85 NB off-ramp, over the I-85 NB on-ramp, to the I-85 NB access road.

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Cusseta Road Widening

This project will construct a new interchange at I-185 and Old Cusseta Rd in southern Muscogee County. Other improvements include the addition of a center turn along Cusseta/Old Cusseta Rd, a new roundabout at the intersection of Old Cusseta Rd and Cusseta Rd, a new signal on Old Cusseta Rd at the SB ramps, a new roundabout on Old Cusseta Rd at the NB ramps, and 5' and 10' sidewalks along the corridor. The I-185 bridge over Old Cusseta Rd will be widened to accommodate the SB entrance ramp. Farr Rd will be relocated to the east to accommodate the new roundabout and NB entrance ramp.

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Post Road Widening

The proposed project consists of widening SR 371 from SR 9 to Kelly Mill Road. The project is located west of the City of Cumming in Forsyth County. The proposed design includes two lanes in each direction with a 16 to 20-foot raised median. The project length is 3.64 miles.

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I-285 Top End Express Lanes

Revive 285 is the name given to the improvement project on I-285 North from I-75 to I-85. Revive 285 will serve as an umbrella for a number of isolated but critical near-term fixes in the project corridor, guiding these efforts in a way that provides the most benefit for the corridor and anticipates the transportation needs of future generations. This project will identify, evaluate, and possibly enhance the most appropriate projects and programs that provide safe and efficient travel along the I-285 corridor from the I-75/I-285 interchange in Cobb County to the I-285/I-85 interchange in DeKalb County. It will also develop and advance concepts through the environmental phase of Georgia DOT's PDP, including completion of an environmental document and receipt of a Record of Decision. The resulting concept will be accompanied with a Program Management Plan identifying funding, phasing, and implementation strategies.

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Rock Quarry Road Widening

Rock Quarry Road project is a reconstruction project. Rock Quarry Road will be widened beginning at Eagles Landing Parkway north to SR 42/138. The total miles for the widening project is 2.60 in length. This project is located in the 13th Congressional district. Rock Quarry Road in Henry County is classified as an urban minor arterial. It is a two lane north-south facility that connects motorists from SR 42 to Eagle¿s Landing Parkway. Rock Quarry Road has intermittent turn lanes at various locations and has no continuous linear sidewalks. There are a large number of commercial and industrial businesses along the proposed project segment, as well as residential housing. This project is currently identified in the Atlanta Regional Commission's (ARC) Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), Plan 2040, and is included in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). This project is located within the Atlanta MPO boundary and is listed in the TIP as HE-161A.

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Salem Road Widening

Project 231210- & 0013628, SR 162/Salem Road involves widening Salem Road from just south of Brown Bridge 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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Spout Springs Road WIdening

Widen CR 1287 / Spout Springs Road from a 2-lane roadway to a 4-lane divided roadway with a 20 foot raised median and sidewalks. Median openings and intersections will be modified/removed accordingly. The project limits along Spout Springs Road are from I-985 to Union Circle for a total distance of 3.2 miles.

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SR 120/Abbotts Bridge Road Widening

The proposed project would widen State Route (SR) 120/Abbotts Bridge Road from SR 141/Medlock Bridge Road to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard from two to four through lanes.The total project length is approximately 2.5 miles, which includes a 1500¿ tie-in to SR 120 west of SR 141 and a 1000¿ tie-in east of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. Both SR 141 and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard would be improved and widened for approximately 1000¿ in each direction approaching SR 120. Parsons Road would also be improved and widened for 1250¿ south of SR 120, and Boles Road would be improved for 1000¿ north of SR 120. All other side roads would be improved to a maximum of 500¿ from SR 120. The existing SR 120 bridge would be widened and/or reconstructed across the Chattahoochee River. All signalized intersections would be modified. Existing ROW within the project corridor are approximately 60 to 130 feet. Proposed ROW would be approximately 104 to 140 feet.

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SR 138 and CR 8 Interchange

The proposed project is the construction of a single lane roundabout with a 238ft. x 158ft. inscribed ellipse, pedestrian facilities and lighting at the intersection of SR 138 and CR 8 / CR 15 / East Fairview Rd. in Rockdale County. The roundabout is approximately centered on the inside of the existing intersection¿s west curve. The roundabout legs extend approximately 500ft. down East Fairview Road and SR 138 in all directions.

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SR 20 Improvements

The SR 20 Improvements study area extends for approximately 24 miles, between I-575 in Canton and SR 400 in Cumming. Jurisdictions along the corridor including 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. The SR 20 Improvements project will conduct engineering and environmental studies to evaluate possible alternatives to relieve congestion, improve mobility, and reduce crashes along SR 20 between Canton and Cumming.

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SR 20 and CR 98 Interchange

The purpose of the proposed project is to improve the operation and safety of the State Route (SR) 20 (Loganville Highway) and West Hightower Trail intersection near Conyers, Rockdale County, Georgia. the improvements will include constructing a single lane roundabout and a cul-de-sac on Chandler Road.

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SR 40 Widening

State Route (SR) 40 is a major east-west corridor in southeast Georgia, connecting Folkston on the west with Kingsland, I-95, & St. Marys on the east. SR 40, which is designated as a hurricane evacuation route, has been identified for widening as part of the Governor's Road Improvement Program (GRIP). The project begins on the east side of the City of Folkston at the intersection of SR 40 with SR 40 connector/Indian Trail/US 301 Connector & extends to the I-95 Interchange at Exit 6 in Camden County. The GRIP project would widen the 29-mile long SR 40 corridor to four lanes, most of it divided by a 4-foot flush median & widen an 11.47-mile portion of the SR 40 corridor between milepost 5.21 in Charlton County to County Route (CR) 66, Colerain Road MP 10.12 in Camden County.

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SR 400 Express Lanes

The proposed SR 400 Express Lanes project would construct express lanes to an approximately 16-mile section of SR 400 from the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) North Springs Station (Exit 5C) in Fulton County to approximately 0.9 miles north of McFarland Parkway (Exit 12) in Forsyth County.

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SR 44 Widening

The project is located in Greene County, beginning just north of the intersection of SR 44 and Linger Longer Rd and continues to just north of I-20, a total mainline distance of approx 7.6 miles. The project consists of widening SR 44 from the existing two-lane road to a four-lane road. The urban section, which includes a 16 foot raised median, bike lanes, sidewalk and 2 ¿ 11 ft lanes in each direction starts just north of Linger Longer Rd and cont. north to approx. 500 ft east of Carey Station Rd. The rural section, which includes a 32 foot depressed median, both an 11 ft and 12 ft lane in each direction and a bike lane on the 6.5 ft shoulder will go from approx.500 feet east of Carey Station Rd to Meadow Crest Rd. From Meadow Crest Rd to approx. 2000 feet north of the I-20 interchange the urban section will be used.

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SR 61 Widening

The scope of this project consists of widening and reconstruction of SR 61 from CR 467/Dallas Nebo Road to US 278/SR 120/SR 6/Dallas Bypass in Paulding County. The existing roadway is a 2-lane/3-lane section with 12ft lanes and 4ft grassed shoulders. The proposed typical section is a 4-lane section with 12ft lanes, 10ft outside shoulders with 4ft paved, and a 20ft raised median. The double 5' X 5' culvert at Mill Creek and the two single 4' X 4' box culverts are to be extended. The project is 4.3 miles long. The existing bridge structure over the Silver Comet Trail will be widened from 38 ft to 92 ft.

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SR 83 Connector

This project is to construct a new location, 4.7-mile connector that would provide a bypass around the historic downtown City of Monroe. The connector would begin at State Route (SR) 11 approximately 0.5 mile south of the city limits, extend eastward, and end at SR 83. Construction would terminate at SR 83; however, the connector would tie into the existing intersection of James Huff Road and SR 10/US 78. The proposed typical section along the SR 83 Connector would consist of two 12-foot lanes (one travel lane in each direction) with 10-foot outside shoulders (6.5 feet paved). At intersection locations, single 12-foot right and left-turn lanes would be provided. The existing segment of James Huff Road/SR 83 would remain as a two-lane roadway for approximately 0.73 miles from SR 83 at SR 83 Connector and would remain as a four-lane roadway with 12-foot travel lanes with a combination of a raised and depressed median for approximately 0.48 miles leading to SR 83 at SR 10/US 78.

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650 Alpharetta, GA 30004

 Phone:
(404) 689-5010(Office Phone)
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 Email:
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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

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