When the government wants to take your land via eminent domain1 powers, legal disagreements can arise between you and the government entity, often regarding two main issues. These issues are whether the eminent domain taking is valid and for public use or whether the government’s offer of compensation is adequate based on the fair market value2 of your property. If these issues cannot be resolved through settlement negotiations, your case may have to go to trial in court. Many property owners are intimidated by the idea of trial and may be tempted to accept an unfair agreement simply to avoid going to court. However, with the assistance of an experienced, you can receive a favorable result at trial.

If you cannot reach an agreement, the decision regarding whether the condemnation action is valid or the fair market value of the property will be placed in the hands of the judge. The judge will hear arguments and evidence from both your attorney and the government. Such evidence can include appraisals, business goodwill estimates, and much more. When the judge rules on the case, the decision will be legally binding. For example, imagine that the government wants to pay you $150,000 for your property and you believe your property is worth $275,000 and you were unable to reach an acceptable compromise out of court. If the judge decides that you should be compensated $200,000 based on the evidence, both you and the government will have to abide by that decision unless someone appeals.

Because the power is out of your hands at a trial, it is often favorable to resolve a case during the settlement phase because you have more control over the results. However, if you do have to go to court, you need to make sure you have a lawyer with the litigation experience necessary to achieve successful results.

Discuss your case with an experienced eminent domain attorney as soon as possible

At the law office of Sever Storey, LLP our skilled condemnation attorneys know how to handle landowner cases both in settlement stages and at trial. If you are facing an eminent domain action, call us today at 888-318-3761 for assistance.