What happens when your town needs your land for a new project? Public projects are all around: new government buildings, utilities, highways, railways, and even public safety. Will you recover fair compensation? Will you take the town’s first offer? Will you haggle over price? Or will ask a judge to decide, with a court case?
A municipality’s power to take privately held land is constrained by the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment Takings Clause, which states that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
Eminent domain is the name given to the government power to take private property for public use. Condemnation is the formal process by which eminent domain is exercised.
Governments have used eminent domain to acquire more than land—authorities have tried to take personal property, intangible property (such as contract rights, trade secrets, and copyrights) and even a professional sports team (the National Football League’s Oakland Raiders).
Fair market value means the price to which a willing, motivated buyer and seller agree in an open market, neither of whom is under a compulsion to buy or sell, nor unduly influenced by other factors. In condemnation cases, experts (appraisers) must prove valuation. They generally use one of three methods:
This is where it gets tricky. Condemnation is a harsh exercise of government power. It is forcefully taking someone’s private property. Valuation comprises many factors:
Remember: The government wants to pay less, and the landowner naturally wants to receive more. If faced with condemnation, you need an expert’s help and experience to persuasively present your case and maximize the money that you’re entitled to receive.
If your local government, agency, or authority plans a project, that may affect you. The government may subject your property to condemnation—a forced taking. The government will probably make an offer to buy some or part of your land. Don’t sign anything until you consult with an experienced condemnation lawyer. If you’re a landowner facing condemnation, you need to hire the right team. With a seasoned eminent domain attorney, you may receive significantly more money than you would from the first offer.
Trust the professionals at Sever Storey. Call us right away at (888) 318-3761, or contact us confidentially. Our lawyer network serves clients throughout the country, including North Carolina. We’ll fight hard to get you the fair price you deserve.
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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