ILLINOIS EMINENT DOMAIN PROJECTS
IT IS OUR PLEDGE THAT WE WILL PROVIDE A FREE CASE REVIEW FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL OR BUSINESS FACING EMINENT DOMAIN OR CONDEMNATION.
IT IS STILL OUR PLEDGE THAT WE WILL PROVIDE A FREE CASE REVIEW FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL OR BUSINESS FACING EMINENT DOMAIN OR CONDEMNATION.
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Eminent Domain Attorneys – Illinois

At Sever Storey, our mission is to hold condemners, whether they be federal, state, 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 and condemnation.

Your condemnation issue is important to us. Please complete the form below or contact us directly with your questions.

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

Prior to acquiring private property, the condemnor is required to notify the landowner of both the compensation the condemnor feels is appropriate for the land (the offer) and the potential impending eminent domain litigation if a deal cannot be struck. For landowners who are not familiar with whatever project is being built, this notice often comes as a complete shock. Surprised (and concerned) landowners often do not challenge the condemnor on the offer, and an aggressive land agent--working on behalf of a condemnor--can take advantage of an uninformed and inexperienced property owner.

Being in this situation can be overwhelming and cause many landowners to feel helpless. But it’s important to take the right steps to ensure the best possible outcome. Here’s what landowners should do after receiving an eminent domain notice or offer of compensation:

1. Contact an Eminent Domain Attorney

The first thing any landowner facing condemnation should do is contact a reliable eminent domain attorney. An experienced condemnation attorney will walk the landowner through every step of the process, making it far less confusing and more likely to turn out in their favor. An attorney may not be able to prevent the taking of the land, but they’ll help the landowner receive eminent domain just compensation that’s fair and just.

2. Learn About Landowner Rights

A landowner subject to eminent domain has certain rights guaranteed by Illinois law. For example, in Illinois a landowner has the right to a jury trial on the issue of just compensation. A seasoned eminent domain attorney will help the landowner understand his or her rights to just compensation and good faith negotiation.

3. Negotiate with the Condemnor

Prior to acquiring property via eminent domain, an Illinois condemnor is required to conduct “good faith negotiations” with a landowner. An eminent domain attorney will be able to assist a landowner in determining whether these negotiations are helpful--often, they are not and can actually work to a landowner’s detriment. A landowner should be aware of what his or her case is worth before negotiating with the condemnor, and an eminent domain attorney will provide the landowner with this information.

4. Prepare for Eminent Domain Trial

If your case is one of the very few that reaches trial, you will need to be fully prepared for this endeavor. In instances where there is a significant difference in opinion on compensation, or when a condemnor is being stubborn, a jury trial over compensation may be necessary. A veteran eminent domain attorney will be able to fully prepare and present a case for landowner compensation.

How Sever Storey Can Help You in Illinois

In some instances, an eminent domain acquisition can be stopped, but those instances require an in-depth analysis of both the purpose of the acquisition and the procedure the condemnor followed. Generally, barring a procedural defect by the condemnor, stopping a taking can be an uphill climb. Stopping a condemnor from moving forward with an acquisition demands an inquiry into historical Illinois precedent and usually turns on very specific facts. If a landowner feels like the condemnor should not be permitted to acquire his or her property, hiring a qualified eminent domain attorney is a must.

Thanks for visiting the Sever Storey web page for the State of Illinois. Our firm of eminent domain attorneys has represented dozens of Illinois landowners in matters ranging from road projects and high voltage transmission lines to natural gas and oil pipelines. As a result, our attorneys have accumulated the necessary Illinois-specific eminent domain knowledge to handle any type of case—big or small. We have seen it all and are ready to handle the unique and complex issues your Illinois condemnation case may present. If you need immediate attention please contact us directly at 1-888-318-3761 or email me at jordan@landownerattorneys.com.

FAQs

What Is Eminent Domain Law in Illinois?

In Illinois, eminent domain is a legal term describing an entity’s ability to take land from private landowners and put it toward a public use. The entity, traditionally a governmental body like the Illinois Department of Transportation, may have an interest in taking private land to build an interstate, government building, school, library, pipeline, transmission line, or any other “public use” project.

Unfortunately for landowners, the term “public use” has undergone quite a bit of change in the legal world over the last two decades, and acquisitions by private entities have seen a dramatic uptick. But regardless of the purpose of the acquisition, the right eminent domain attorneys can help protect the rights of landowners who face condemnation.

Eminent Domain Just Compensation in Illinois

According to eminent domain law in Illinois, all landowners are entitled to “just compensation” for the acquisition of their property through eminent domain. So how is “just compensation” determined? Generally, property appraisers are hired to impartially value the property and render an opinion on compensation; however, appraisers can have widely varying opinions of value. For example, an appraiser hired by IDOT may assign no diminution in value to the remainder property as a result of the acquisition even when it is very clear to the landowner that this diminution exists.

Different appraisers have different opinions, and it is imperative that if an appraiser is necessary for a landowner’s case (not always the case), that appraiser is competent and qualified. An eminent domain attorney will have knowledge of local, qualified, experienced, tested eminent domain appraisers who can testify on behalf of landowners.

Eminent Domain Relocation Costs in Illinois

In the event a residence or business is being acquired through eminent domain, the landowner or business owner will also be entitled to relocation expenses in addition to just compensation for the acquisition itself. When businesses specifically are being relocated, it is imperative that the business receive every last dollar in relocation expenses because an insufficiently funded relocation could render a business insolvent.

An Illinois condemnor may view a business relocation in very simple moving terms, but any business owner will attest that uprooting and relocating a business is a significant endeavor, requiring substantial financial outlays. An eminent domain attorney in Illinois can ensure that a business can be adequately relocated in the event its building is being acquired.

What Are The Important Aspects of Just Compensation in Illinois?

There are three keys to an Illinois landowner’s case for just compensation: Adequate compensation for the acquisition itself, Adequate compensation for any diminution of value in the remainder (partial takings), Adequate compensation for relocation (total taking of business or residence).

A landowner who successfully evaluates and identifies the three keys above (where relevant) and who hires a competent and qualified eminent domain attorney will position themselves as best as possible for “winning” his or her eminent domain case.

How Long Do Eminent Domain Cases Take in Illinois?

Illinois eminent domain cases vary in length. For cases that resolve pre-suit, they last around 1-3 months from the point of offer (however, as is the case with any acquisition, condemnors’ plans and schedule can change daily, extending the time it takes to resolve a case). For cases that do not or cannot resolve pre-suit, resolution will likely take anywhere from 3-18 months from the point of offer. Cases that require trial (very few) generally last 12 months but are largely dependent on the court’s docket and schedule.

Can Eminent Domain in Illinois Be Stopped?

In some instances, an eminent domain acquisition can be stopped, but those instances require an in-depth analysis of both the purpose of the acquisition and the procedure the condemnor followed. Generally, barring a procedural defect by the condemnor, stopping a taking can be an uphill climb. Stopping a condemnor from moving forward with an acquisition demands an inquiry into historical Illinois precedent and usually turns on very specific facts. If a landowner feels like the condemnor should not be permitted to acquire his or her property, hiring a qualified eminent domain attorney is a must.

Eminent Domain Projects in Illinois

US 14/RAILROAD UNDERPASS

The US 14 railroad underpass is a planned grade separation at U.S. Route 14 (Northwest Highway) and the CN/EJ&E Railway at-grade crossing in Barrington, IL.

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SPRINGFIELD RAIL IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT

The City of Springfield is undertaking the Springfield Rail Improvements Project to address issues of public safety, traffic congestion, community livability and commercial development. The Tenth Street corridor will be upgraded in segments as funding becomes available. The second segment will most likely be Usable Segment 2, including the Ash and Laurel Street underpass at Tenth Street.

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GRAIN BELT CLEAN LINE

The Grain Belt Express is a proposed 800-mile transmission line which would traverse Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. Formerly the Grain Belt Clean Line, this project has been bogged down in ownership changes and administrative roadblocks since its inception. Grain Belt, if constructed, would move electricity collected from west Kansas wind farms to the Indiana state line. The line would cross hundreds of rural properties and affect thousands of acres of prime farmland.

Due to legal and regulatory issues, the Grain Belt currently has the necessary authority to construct in Kansas, Missouri, and Indiana, but its approval in Illinois is still pending as of late 2020. While construction isn’t anticipated for several years, the attorneys at Sever Storey expect Grain Belt to attempt to acquire easements from landowners in Kansas and Missouri at any point.

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RANDALL ROAD

Proposed widening of Randall Road in Kane County, IL, to six lanes.

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ELDAMAIN ROAD PROJECT

This road project in Kendall County, IL plans to extend Eldamain Road from U.S. 34 to Walker Road.

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WEBER RD/I-55 INTERCHANGE

The current project extends along Weber Road from 119th Street north of the interchange to 135th Street to the south and a half-mile east and west of Weber Road with Interstate 55 as the centerpoint.

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I-55 FROM I-80 TO US 52 (WILL COUNTY)

The interchange project includes the conversion of the existing partial interchange at IL 59 and I-55 to a full access diverging diamond interchange also known as a DDI. A DDI is a double cross over diamond. The diamond shaped configuration allows for two directions of traffic on a bridge to cross to the opposite side of the bridge. The benefits of this type of interchange include improved safety and operations. This project provides connections for pedestrians and bicyclists over I-55 to IL 59 and new auxiliary lanes between IL 59 and US 52 to improve congestion and safety for vehicles entering and exiting the roadway.

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I-80 FROM RIDGE RD TO US 30 (WILL COUNTY)

Projects planned along I-80 are estimated to cost $1.2 billion and are included in the department’s fiscal year 2020-2025 program. IDOT is focusing on 16 miles of I-80 in Will County between Ridge Road in Minooka and U.S. Route 30 in New Lenox. Planned improvements include replacing the bridge at Rock Run Creek, widening the Houbolt Road bridge, reconstructing lanes and adding other roadway improvements between I-55 and Houbolt Road and replacing the bridge at Joliet Junction Trail.

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US 20 RANDALL RD TO SHALES PKWY (COOK AND KANE COUNTIES)

The broader project’s proposed improvements involve the rehabilitation of the bridges along the Route 20 corridor. The estimated overall cost of the project is $80 million, and construction is not currently funded. The interchange improvements involve replacement of the Route 31 bridge over Route 20 to provide two lanes in each direction with left-turn lanes. The project also includes pedestrian and bicyclist improvements. The $10 million interchange project is currently funded

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US 41 AT ILL 176 (LAKE COUNTY)

The proposed improvement will reconstruct the existing US 41 at IL 176 interchange and the intersection of IL 176 at IL 43 with additional through lanes, additional auxiliary lanes, improved geometrics, replacement of traffic signals, and improved drainage. Pump Station 37 for the US 41 underpass at IL 176 will be reconstructed and Pump Station 41 for the US 41 underpass at Canadian National Railroad will be improved.

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ILL 47 AT ILL 176 & PLEASANT VALLEY (MCHENRY COUNTY)

The general scope of work in this area would consist of realigning Pleasant Valley Road to create a four-leg intersection at the existing three-leg intersection of IL 47 at IL 176 South Junction. After the improvement, the existing Pleasant Valley Road will no longer have access to IL 47 at the current location and will be closed off with a cul-de-sac. All parcels along the existing Pleasant Valley Road that are impacted by the realignment will have access to the new Pleasant Valley Road alignment.

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ILL 47 WIDENING (REED TO US 14) (MCHENRY COUNTY)

The proposed scope of work for this project is to reconstruct the mainly two-lane roadway corridor to provide improved traffic mobility and capacity. IDOT proposes the following scope of work while improving safety and mobility for vehicles and pedestrians:

Two lanes in each direction separated by a grass or raised median, The addition of paved shoulders through high speed areas and turn lanes throughout, Accommodations for sidewalk and shared-use path to support pedestrian and cyclists, Inclusion of water quality features, such as, bioswales and/or native plantings and ditch modifications, which, provide filtration for improved water quality.

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ILL 47 WIDENING (US 14 TO CHARLES ROAD) (MCHENRY COUNTY)

The project, which includes plans for more traffic lanes, five roundabout intersections, a bicycle lane and a hard median, currently is in its first phase. The second phase includes contract plan preparation and land acquisition. Construction crews begin working in the third phase. The project will stretch about five miles, from Charles Road to Highway 14. IDOT estimates the cost of construction at about $76 million.

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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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