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Before a major utility, government, or commercial project, engineers and surveyors may want to come onto the land of any properties that may be affected by the project for budget and calendar planning as well as feasibility determinations. The question that most landowners face is: do public agencies have the right to come onto your land before a condemnation action has been filed or even discussed?
The answer to this question will vary from situation to situation and, therefore, it is critical to have your specific circumstances reviewed by an experienced eminent domain attorney who can advise you of your rights.
Often, a public agency’s right to entry on private land is obtained through state statutes. However, simply because this right may be available under state law does not mean that every law or right to entry is constitutional. Many state courts have heard challenges to the constitutionality of right to entry grants.
Landowners have argued that if a right to entry causes any losses or damage to their land, it constitutes a taking under the 5th Amendment. Any taking requires that the agency has a public use for the taking and that it provides just compensation to private landowners. If a certain right to entry is considered to be a taking, the public agency would be required to provide agreed-upon just compensation or to seek a condemnation action.
Not all right to entry cases are considered to be takings or unconstitutional. If a public agency wants access to your land, you should immediately discuss the matter with a skilled attorney who can assess your personal case under the laws of your state.
Condemnation or the potential for a taking can arise when landowners least expect it. At the law office of Sever Storey, LLP, we represent the rights of landowners across many states including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and North Carolina. We can help you at every stage of your case from pre-condemnation right to entry questions to court hearings. Please contact our experienced condemnation lawyers if you have any concerns about eminent domain and your residential or commercial property. Call us at 888-318-3761.
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