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Flash back to high school history class: Do you remember the U.S. Constitution’s Takings Clause? We hear a lot about “Pleading the Fifth” (a colloquial term for refusing to answer questions that might self-incriminate a criminal suspect). But also nestled in the Fifth Amendment’s last clause is the government’s potent power of eminent domain: “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
Eminent domain is the government power to take private property for public use.
Condemnation is the formal process by which government exercises eminent domain authority.
Let’s say you’re a homeowner fronting a busy two-lane street. There’s lots of traffic, a few too many accidents, and gridlock during rush hour. After several studies and public meetings, your local highway department develops a good solution, which includes (among other needed improvements) adding another lane for travel. To do that, the governmental authority needs about 30 feet of land from the abutting landowners (for paving, burying utility lines, landscaping).
That example is deceptively simple. Challenges arise, however, as soon as the government agency names its price for the subject property.
If you have a condemnation case, you need to rely on an experienced eminent domain lawyer to help you. Otherwise, you may lose valuable rights.
Construction projects are all around us. Did you learn about a planned project in your neighborhood? Do you have an eminent domain case?
With a zealous eminent domain lawyer, you can ensure fair treatment if your local government or highway authority is planning a project that will affect you. If you’re a homeowner facing condemnation, you need to hire the right counsel. You should receive fair market value for your property.
Don’t accept any offers or sign any agreements without first talking with us. Trust the experienced homeowner professionals at Sever Storey. Call us right away at (888) 318-3761, or contact us confidentially. We have a nationwide team of landowner attorneys on your side.
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