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The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution makes it clear that a government agency can only take private lands if the land is needed for a public use and if the property owner is compensated justly for the loss of the property. Often, an agency or company will approach a landowner and simply make an offer. A landowner can accept the offer and agree to sell the land, but also has the right to reject it. In such situations, the government will need to file a legal action against the homeowner for condemnation of the land. As part of this case, the court should decide what constitutes just compensation for the land.
In some cases, however, the condemning agency will not take the necessary steps of the eminent domain process and will simply begin using or taking the land. In these cases, no court order for condemnation is received and no just compensation is paid. There are different examples of inverse condemnation, including:
If you believe your property rights were infringed without an agency following the proper legal protocol, discuss your next course of action with a skilled inverse condemnation attorney at Sever Storey right away.
If a taking took place and you did not receive any compensation or consent to the taking, you may have the right to file your own legal claim against the condemning party. In this type of case, you are the plaintiff and the agency is the defendant—which is the inverse of a regular eminent domain action—hence, the name inverse condemnation.
Because you are now the plaintiff, you have the burden of proving that your land was temporarily or permanently taken without you receiving just compensation. The burden of proof can put you in a more difficult position, so you need a skilled eminent domain litigation on your side the entire way.
Once you prove that a wrongful taking occurred, you will can fight for compensation for any infringement of your property rights or harm caused to your land. This would constitute the same just compensation determination that would take place in a regular condemnation hearing.
Landowners may encounter many different issues if the government wants to take all or part of their lands. Whether you want advice about whether an offer is fair or need assistance fighting for any compensation in the first place, the eminent domain lawyers at the law office of Sever Storey are here to help. We have offices in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, and North Carolina, and we help landowners nationwide. To learn more about the many ways we can help you, call our office at (888) 318-3761 or contact us online today for free.
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