A landowner couple in northern Illinois has run out of legal options in their fight against eminent domain.1 A water reclamation district now will be able to put a sewer line on the couple’s property in Winnebago, Illinois. The water project will close down a 1950s-era sewage treatment plant, and the district will send its waste to a newer facility. The project costs $17.5 million.

To complete the project, the district needed 27 parcels, including that land owned by the Dimkes. The district needed a half mile stretch of land belonging to the Dimkes. The Dimkes opposed the project and started the legal battle to keep the project from moving forward on their land.

Through an attorney, the Dimkes made argument to the courts that the government could not put the water sewer line on their private land. They argued that the water reclamation district skipped steps in the Illinois eminent domain process. They argued that the property was not within the boundaries of the reclamation district and that the district should annex the property before imposing the easement.

Having lost in the lower court, the Dimkes requested that the Illinois Supreme Court hear the case. The state supreme court did not have to hear the case, but they could have chosen to hear it upon request by a party. In the Dimkes case, the Illinois Supreme Court refused to hear the case and the lower court’s ruling was upheld. This action means that the reclamation district could put the sewer line on the Dimkes’ land. The water reclamation district said that it paid at least $200,000 to property owners for putting the sewer line on the land and $60,000 of that will be paid to the Dimkes.

This is case is one example of how challenging it can be to prevail in a challenge to an eminent domain action. Instead, the main issue is often to ensure you have proper compensation for your lost land.

Contact our Skilled Illinois Eminent Domain Attorneys Today

If you are fighting to keep a government project off your land, you should contact an condemnation lawyer as soon as possible. Attorneys at the law firm of Sever Storey understand the rights of landowners and the arguments that can be made to courts. Call us today for help at 888-318-3761.