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For many people, the very concept of eminent domain is difficult to comprehend, and in many ways, it is contrary to our basic principles of land ownership. Fundamentally, eminent domain allows the government (and sometimes even private parties) to take privately owned land and use it for a public purpose.
People who find themselves and their land as the subject of an eminent domain action are often confused and in disbelief that the government can actually force them off of land that they legally own. Fortunately, landowners whose property is subject to eminent domain have rights. Some of the most important of these are discussed below.
In many exercises of eminent domain, landowners are intentionally made to feel like they have no option but to acquiesce to the will of the party trying to condemn their property. In reality, not every attempted exercise of eminent domain is legitimate, and landowners have the right to challenge a proposed condemnation. Some of the ways that they may be able to challenge eminent domain include arguing that the party attempting to exercise is not properly authorized to do so or that the proposed use of the property subject to the taking does not fit within the legal definition of a “public purpose.”
While the 5th Amendment allows the government to take land, it also requires it to provide just compensation to the landowners from whom the land is taken. While an eminent domain action can be challenged, the issue of just compensation is at the heart of most litigation surrounding eminent domain. Typically, landowners argue that the amount that they are being offered does not reflect the true value of the land. The law regarding the valuation of land in eminent domain cases can be extremely complicated, so it is advisable for all landowners dealing with an exercise of eminent domain to have their case reviewed by an attorney familiar with eminent domain litigation.
As a landowner whose property is the subject of a pending or proposed condemnation action, it can feel like the deck is stacked against you. Fortunately, the experienced eminent domain attorneys of Sever Storey are here to help. We are committed to protecting landowner rights and will ensure that you receive just compensation for your property. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call 888-318-3761 or send us an email through our online contact form.
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