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INDIANA EMINENT DOMAIN ATTORNEYS

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Eminent Domain & Condemnation Attorneys in Indiana

At Sever Storey, our mission is to hold condemners, whether they be state, federal, local, or utility, 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.

While it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed in this situation, remember that our eminent domain attorneys in Indiana are here to answer all of your questions and fight for your rights.

 

What is Eminent Domain Law in Indiana?

Eminent domain in Indiana is a legal term referring to the government’s right to seize private land and take it away for public use. Though this right is conventionally reserved for the building of highways, government buildings, and other publicly owned and operated projects, this right, in some instances, extends to the builders of pipelines, powerlines, and redevelopment projects.

 

What Should Landowners Do After Receiving An Eminent Domain Notice in Indiana?

If you’ve received notice of eminent domain in Indiana, you may be unsure of where to turn next. Since the government may have been planning these actions for years prior, it’s essential to take swift action. Confusing, difficult, nerve racking are just some of the ways our clients have described the eminent domain process.

But even with that said, the innate sense in all of us is that "I can handle this. This is my property. I can competently defend it by myself." This type of attitude, while admirable and seemingly obvious, can get landowners into trouble. Eminent domain is an extremely niche area of law. Most attorneys have no idea how to handle it and what to do; there is no reason for you to be expected to be able to handle it yourself.

Even the landowner that doubles his offer on his own, or negotiates what he or she sees as a sweet deal, may be missing out on tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in available money.

The experience Indiana eminent domain attorneys at Sever Storey understand how to provide maximum compensation and protect landowner rights.

So the question is: When should you hire/contact an Indiana eminent domain attorney?

 

1. Find an Experienced Eminent Domain Attorney

You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) fight the government on your own. Eminent domain attorneys are trained specifically to handle these types of cases, and they can help you get the best possible outcome in any situation.

2. Know Your Rights

Your attorney can help educate you on your rights when faced with eminent domain. This will put you in a better position to negotiate with the government and receive just compensation for your land.

3. Allow Your Lawyer to Conduct Negotiations

It’s your lawyer’s job to handle all negotiations and litigation associated with your case. A skilled lawyer will be able to stand up for your rights and make sure you get fair treatment in court.

4. Resolve the Matter

Eminent domain cases can resolve at any point between receiving an offer and receiving a jury verdict on compensation. Generally, the more complex the case is, the longer it takes to conclude. A landowner should rely on an experienced attorney’s advice when considering when to take or reject a government’s offer of settlement.

 

What Are the Limits of Eminent Domain in Indiana?

Do not lose hope in your battle with the government. There are limits and institutional guidelines implemented in Indiana’s code which restrict a condemnor’s actions and/or protect the landowner. Knowing those nuances is key to getting fair treatment. The government is required to:

- Provide notice of condemnation
- Show justified reasons for taking the land
- Offer compensation in exchange for the land
- Engage in negotiation with the landowner
- Place a deposit with the Court prior to entry onto the property

 

Inverse Condemnation in Indiana

Governments may sometimes take actions that limit the use of your property. Typically, when the government plans on taking your property for a public purpose they institute a condemnation action using their powers of eminent domain. A more insidious inverse condemnation example is when the government action does not produce an obvious taking, such as acquisition of your land to build a road, but nonetheless significantly impacts the landowner's property value. In these instances, an Indiana landowner may bring an inverse condemnation lawsuit to hold the government accountable for the limitations they have created on your property.

READ MORE: INVERSE CONDEMNATION

 

Utility Takings in Indiana

It is our mission to hold the State of Indiana and utilities accountable to provide just compensation to landowners. Besides the State of Indiana, landowners can have their land taken by eminent domain and condemnation by utility companies including water departments, electric and pipeline companies. These takings can include sewer installations, electric line construction, natural gas pipelines, oil pipelines and even coal gasification pipelines.

READ MORE: UTILITY TAKINGS IN INDIANA

 

How Sever Storey Can Help You

From fruit stands to gravel mines, Sever Storey can help a landowner facing eminent domain for any type of property. Hire our team of eminent domain and condemnation lawyers in Indiana for the best chance at receiving the fair outcome you deserve.

Our firm will provide an honest evaluation of your case for free. At Sever Storey, we typically represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only receive a fee IF WE GET MORE THAN WHAT YOU WERE OFFERED. Because our fees are tied to your additional compensation, we carefully evaluate each case to determine if we could add additional compensation to your case. This is a free chance to have your case be evaluated by professionals with years of experience and is a service we provide that is well worth utilizing.

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With more than two decades of experience in the industry, our attorneys have helped thousands of landowners across the country to secure greater compensation and relocation benefits from the government. Our offices span from Texas to North Carolina and beyond. Allow us to use our expertise to defend your rights at a vulnerable time.

Whether or not you decide to hire our firm, I urge you to retain an attorney to represent you in this matter, to ensure that your interests are fully protected. If at any time, you have any questions about eminent domain, condemnation, or would like a free consultation contact me at 317-961-1202 or email your questions to phil@landownerattorneys.com.

FAQs

Eminent Domain Just Compensation in Indiana

The condemnor is legally required to offer just compensation in exchange for land, meaning that, prior to initiating any eminent domain proceedings against the landowner, the condemnor must issue a bona fide, good faith offer to the landowner. Though this offer must be issued, there is no requirement that it is a “good” offer, but merely an offer based on a previously created appraisal. Often, this offer is insufficient and does not properly compensate the landowner.

Eminent Domain Relocation Costs in Indiana

If you are forced by the government to move your retail space, warehouse, business, or other private entity, you will end up forking over a substantial amount of cash to do so. Under Indiana law, and in consideration of federal relocation guidelines, condemnors are also required to offer money to assist entities in relocating their operation if it will be displaced as a result of the taking. Just as the offer for the land may be insufficient, this offer can also fail to adequately reimburse the landowner for any anticipated relocation costs.

In the instance where a building, structure, billboard, improvement, or an entire piece of property is being acquired, you may be faced with relocation. This can be a very tricky and complicated process. There are substantial relocations benefits available in these types of acquisitions that are sometimes never used by landowners. For instance, did you know that federal law provides money for business reestablishment when a relocation occurs? In many cases the condemning authorities do not even discuss these benefits, leaving landowners in the dark. When you have a commercial relocation, it is essential that you hire professionals that can assist you in maximizing your benefit.

How Long Do Eminent Domain Cases Take in Indiana?

While some eminent domain cases can be resolved within a few months, others may last as long as a year or more. So what explains the variation in timeline?

The length of the case depends on many factors, such as the type and nature of the land being taken, the parties’ compensation postures and positions, and the reason for the condemnation. Many cases do not require litigation, but some do. Generally, a case that requires litigation is going to last longer than one that does not.

Can Eminent Domain in Indiana Be Stopped in Indiana?

It’s not often that eminent domain can be stopped—but it is possible in some cases. In order to halt eminent domain, a skilled attorney must demonstrate that the condemnor did not follow the law in attempting to exercise its ability. More often than not, stopping an eminent domain taking will not succeed, and the focus of the litigation ends up being compensation.

EMINENT DOMAIN, INDIANA CODE 32-24-1

Eminent domain procedure is governed by the Indiana Code.  This means that when a condemnor is taking your property they must follow the rules set out in the statute/code.  We have reproduced the code for your review below. The eminent domain attorneys at Sever Storey are very familiar with this particular set of laws.  if you have any questions about eminent domain procedure please feel free to call at 888-318-3761 or email me at phil@landownerattorneys.com.


IC 32-24
ARTICLE 24. EMINENT DOMAIN

IC 32-24-1
Chapter 1. General Procedures

IC 32-24-1-1
"Condemnor" defined
Sec. 1. As used in section 5 of this chapter, "condemnor" means any person authorized by Indiana law to exercise the power of eminent domain.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.9.

IC 32-24-1-2
"Owner" defined
Sec. 2. As used in section 5 of this chapter, "owner" means the persons listed on the tax assessment rolls as being responsible for the payment of real estate taxes imposed on the property and the persons in whose name title to real estate is shown in the records of the recorder of the county in which the real estate is located.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.9.

IC 32-24-1-3
Entry on land; purchase before instituting proceedings; surveys by public utilities or pipeline companies Sec. 3. (a) Any person that may exercise the power of eminent domain for any public use under any statute may exercise the power only in the manner provided in this article, except as otherwise provided by law.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (g), before proceeding to condemn, the person:
(1) may enter upon any land to examine and survey the property sought to be acquired; and
(2) must make an effort to purchase for the use intended the land, right-of-way, easement, or other interest, in the property.
(c) The effort to purchase under subsection (b)(2) must include the following:
(1) Establishing a proposed purchase price for the property.
(2) Providing the owner of the property with an appraisal or other evidence used to establish the proposed purchase price.
(3) Conducting good faith negotiations with the owner of the property.
(d) If the land or interest in the land, or property or right is owned by a person who is an incapacitated person (as defined in IC 29-3-1-7.5) or less than eighteen (18) years of age, the person seeking to acquire the property may purchase the property from the guardian of the incapacitated person or person less than eighteen (18) years of age. If the purchase is approved by the court appointing the guardian and the approval is written upon the face of the deed, the conveyance of the property purchased and the deed made and approved by the court are valid and binding upon the incapacitated person or persons less than eighteen (18) years of age.
(e) The deed given, when executed instead of condemnation, conveys only the interest stated in the deed.
(f) If property is taken by proceedings under this article, the entire fee simple title may be taken and acquired.
(g) This subsection applies to a public utility (as defined in IC 32-24-1-5.9(a)) or a pipeline company (as defined in IC 8-1-22.6-7). If a public utility or a pipeline company seeks to acquire land or an interest in land under this article, the public utility or pipeline company may not enter upon the land to examine or survey the property sought to be acquired unless either of the following occur:
(1) The public utility or the pipeline company sends notice by certified mail to the affected landowner (as defined in IC 8-1-22.6-2) of the public utility's or the pipeline company's intention to enter upon the landowner's property for survey purposes. The notice required by this subdivision must be mailed not later than fourteen (14) days before the date of the public utility's or the pipeline company's proposed examination or survey.
(2) The public utility or the pipeline company receives the landowner's signed consent to enter the property to perform the proposed examination or survey.

An affected landowner may bring an action to enforce this subsection in the circuit court of the county in which the landowner's property is located. A prevailing landowner is entitled to the landowner's actual damages as a result of the public utility's or the pipeline company's violation. In addition, the court may award a prevailing landowner reasonable costs of the action and attorney's fees.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.9. Amended by P.L.163-2006, SEC.5; P.L.110-2007, SEC.2.

READ MORE: EMINENT DOMAIN, INDIANA CODE 32-24-1

PRIVATE TAKINGS, INDIANA CODE 32-24-4.5

In some very specific instances eminent domain can be used to take property from a person or business and given to another person or business. Generally, this can only occur if the taking is for a public purpose or the property is blighted.  The issues here are very complex.  The eminent domain attorneys at Sever Storey have conducted litigation on these issues and have a deep understanding of this statue.  If you have any questions related to private to private eminent domain proceedings in Indiana please call 888-318-3761 or call phil@landownerattorneys.com.

IC 32-24-4.5

Chapter 4.5. Procedures for Transferring Ownership or Control of Real Property Between Private Persons

IC 32-24-4.5-1
Application of chapter; "public use"
Sec. 1. (a) As used in this section, "public use" means the:
(1) possession, occupation, and enjoyment of a parcel of real property by the general public or a public agency for the purpose of providing the general public with fundamental services, including the construction, maintenance, and reconstruction of highways, bridges, airports, ports, certified technology parks, intermodal facilities, and parks;
(2) leasing of a highway, bridge, airport, port, certified technology park, intermodal facility, or park by a public agency that retains ownership of the parcel by written lease with right of forfeiture; or
(3) use of a parcel of real property to create or operate a public utility, an energy utility (as defined in IC 8-1-2.5-
2), or a pipeline company.
The term does not include the public benefit of economic development, including an increase in a tax base, tax revenues, employment, or general economic health.
(b) This chapter applies to a condemnor that exercises the power of eminent domain to acquire a parcel of real property:
(1) from a private person;
(2) with the intent of ultimately transferring ownership or control to another private person; and
(3) for a use that is not a public use.
(c) This chapter does not apply thirty (30) years after the acquisition of the real property.
As added by P.L.163-2006, SEC.17.

READ MORE: PRIVATE TAKINGS, INDIANA CODE 32-24-4.5

Eminent Domain Projects in Indiana

106th Street and Hoosier Road Roundabout

A single-lane roundabout at 106th Street and Hoosier Road is currently in the design phase to replace the current four-legged intersection. The roundabout will have a low profile rolled curb and gutter and will provide pedestrian crossings on all four approaches.

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161st Street at Oak Road Intersection Improvement

This project plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of 161st St. and Oak Rd. to imrpove traffic flow

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191st St at Grassy Branch Rd. Intersection Improvement

191st St at Grassy Branch Rd intersection improvement. The projects plans to expand both roads by approximately 500 ft. to improve the flow of traffic.

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County Home Rd. Curve Correction

The project proposes to realign County Home Road (CR 450 East) a maximum of 750 feet to the west, eliminating the 90-degree turn at CR 200 South. The current center point of the existing intersection of CR 200 South and CR 450 East will be moved 90 feet southeast to accommodate the realignment of County Home Road. This intersection will be improved, and roadways will have typical sections consisting of two (2) 11-foot-wide asphalt travel lanes and 6-foot-wide usable shoulders. CR 450 East will be converted into a cul-de-sac south of the proposed realignment, approximately 0.07 mile north of the existing 90-degree curve to provide continued access to two residential properties. Drainage improvements will include the removal of the road from the Sixmile Creek floodway, new roadside ditches, storm water pipes, and erosion protection.

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CR 1300N Extension

Extend County Road 1300 North in Milford from Old State Road 15 to the current State Road 15. The project would curve 1300 North just slightly to the north and build a bridge over the railroad tracks and Main Street to connect to SR 15. It is expected to help ease traffic problems with trains, but also give more of a straight path between Milford and Syracuse for trucks and school buses.

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Cumberland Road Reconstruction

Reconstruction and improvements are currently in the design phase for Cumberland Road from north of 106th Street to approximately 0.83 miles south of 116th Street. The proposed improvements will consist of two 16-foot-wide travel lanes, one in each direction bordered by curb and gutter, a 14-foot-wide grassed median separating the travel lanes with openings for north-south access and up to an 11-foot path and a 6-foot sidewalk on the west and east side of the roadway. Hamilton County Bridge 162 will also be replaced.

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East St. Bridge

The engineers report updated in June 2020 determined that constructing the overpass at East Street best met the purpose of the project. The City and INDOT have proposed closing the railroad intersections at Spring, Huntington and Thorne streets once construction is complete. The preliminary preferred alternative currently includes accommodations for cyclists and pedestrians to use the new overpass.

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Hawpatch Rd. Improvement

The improvements will consist of the reconstruction of Hawpatch Street between South Townline Road and US 20/Central Avenue with a typical section of two 12-foot lanes of asphalt pavement with concrete curb and gutter and sidewalk on both sides of the road. The intersection with South Townline Road will be realigned to create a right-angle intersection between the roadways. Additional improvements include installation of a new storm sewer system that will collect drainage from Hawpatch Street and outfall into the existing storm sewer outfalls at Bell street and Seymour Street. The existing street approaches along Hawpatch Street (within the project limits) will be improved by installing new asphalt pavement with curb and gutter along the radii. The total project length is approximately 0.63 miles.

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Hively Overpass

The Project will eliminate the existing Norfolk Southern Railroad at-grade-crossing at Hively Avenue by creating a new grade separation (bridge) that will carry Hively Avenue over the Norfolk Southern Railroad and South Main Street. Additional modifications will be made to surrounding local streets to accommodate the new grade separation (bridge), including street connectivity, pavement improvements and new drainage infrastructure, as required for the project

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McKay at Miller Intersection

New Roundabout at McKay Rd. and Miller St.

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Olio Rd. at Southeastern Pky. Roundabaout

Roundabout improvements at the intersection of Olio Road and Southeastern Pky. are currently in the design phase to improve lane utilization for increased traffic flow and better volume distribution in circulating lanes. The proposed roundabout improvements will better inform motorists of the correct lane to be in approaching the roundabout in order to reduce low-severity rear-end and side-swipe crashes from key legs of the intersection.

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Pierce Rd. Expansion

Reconstruction and expansion of Pierce Rd from US 31 to Miami Hwy

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Pleasant St. Expansion

The Pleasant Street (B1) Alternative will create an additional east-west corridor through Noblesville. Beginning from the west, the project begins at the intersection of SR 32 and Hague Road and continues south and east across the White River, where it will follow the former Midland Trace railroad bed. The project will then jog south to 8th Street and continue south to the existing alignment of Pleasant Street. Unlike the original B Alternative, this corridor will minimize impact to the National Register listed Plum Prairie Residential Historic District. The corridor will then continue on the existing alignment of Pleasant Street to 19th Street.

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South Count Line Rd.Expansion

South County Line Road from I-69 to State Road 135: This project will address current traffic volume by adding travel lanes, flattening the Morgantown Road hill and replacing two existing bridges over Pleasant Run Creek and Buffalo Creek. Signalized intersections, including Railroad and Peterman Roads, road resurfacing and drainage improvements will be added, as well as new sidewalks, ADA ramps and curbs and a 2.5 mile multi-use path.

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SR 32 Expansion (Westfield)

Improve corridor mobility along SR 32 through the downtown Westfield area for both motorists and pedestrians alike.

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Sunnyside Ave. Overpass

Local Trax Railroad Grade Separation at Sunnyside Avenue/Concord Mall Drive and County Road (CR) 13 in Elkhart County.

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Tipton St. Reconstruction

Tipton Street (Park Street) Grade Separation over Norfolk Southern Railroad beginning at State Street and ending approximately 60 feet north of Furnace Street; realignment of Washington Street (Brighton Street) between Adams Street and Pulaski Street; reconstruction of Furnace Street beginning at Clear Lake Boulevard and ending approximately 100 feet east of Tipton Street (Park Street); pavement widening and overlay along Clear Lake Boulevard beginning approximately 160 feet southwest of Detroit Street and ending approximately 50 feet north of Furnace Street.

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881 3rd Avenue SW
Suite #101
Carmel, IN 46032

Phone:
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Email:
phil@landownerattorneys.com

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    COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

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

    LEARN MORE

    POWERLINES & PIPELINES

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

    LEARN MORE

    ROAD & REDEVELOPMENT TAKINGS

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

    LEARN MORE

    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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