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With the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Kelo v. New London,1 it became more and more of a reality that governments could use eminent domain powers for urban developments and specifically for commercial developments. As urban and suburban areas continue to expand, more governments are seizing private lands to make way for the shopping centers that will cater to new neighborhoods. Unfortunately, as rural lands are seized more often due to urban expansion, one group of people that has been significantly affected in many states is farmers.
Whether you farm as your primary source of income or you are a hobby farmer, eminent domain can have a significant effect on your life. If you live in the near vicinity of a city, urban sprawl should be a real concern because of the possible condemnation of your property. If you are seeking to purchase new property for farming purposes, ensure it is not near a city. You can speak to the local government to ask about any possible long-term development goals that might affect the property before you buy it.
Even if you take all possible precautions, there is no guarantee you will not face an eminent domain action in the future. If you are faced with the possible seizure of part or all of your farmland, you should do the following:
Carefully consider any offers to buy your property before eminent domain powers are invoked. Often, an offer for purchase can be reasonable and you should not put up a fight just for the sake of doing so.Speak to an attorney who can tell you if eminent domain is warranted in the situation.Have an attorney review any offers for your land to make sure they are adequate.
Contact an Experienced Eminent Domain Attorney to Discuss Your Situation
The law firm of Sever Storey regularly works with owners in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and North Carolina – which are five of the leading farmland states in the U.S.2 Our team of condemnation lawyers understands just how significantly eminent domain can affect the success of your farm and your very livelihood.
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