The State wants to take your land by eminent domain and they have made you an offer, now what?  This moment in time is extremely important for the land owner.  The landowner has only ONE chance to make the right decision.  To make the correct choice the landowner has to put themselves into the “know” zone.  This means they need to gather up as much information as possible so that they can properly evaluate the State’s taking. A good place to start is to consult an experienced eminent domain attorney or law firm.

For a lot of landowners facing eminent domain or condemnation this may be their first experience with government negotiation or a legal proceeding.  Even many attorneys will be unfamilar with the specifc rules and processes for an eminent domain case.  That is why having a consultation with an experienced eminent domain attorney can be one of the most important steps a landowner should take before accepting or rejecting an offer from the State.  An experienced eminent domain attorney can review the prooposed taking and then identify issues for landowners that will need to be addressed.  Many of the issues that a consultation can identify will lead directly to more compensation to the landowner or even to potential arguments to stop the taking.  The number one goal of the eminent domain attorney at these meetings is to gather all of the facts and then educate the landowner as to the their rights.  The landowner is only able to make a good decision if they are fully informed of all of their rights.

At Sever Storey we provide free consultations to any individual or business who is facing eminent domain or condemnation.  As I stated earlier, our number one goal in these initial meetings is to gather facts and educate the landowner.  We then take the facts we have gathered and determine how our firm would approach the case.  In most cases we can quickly identify core issues (such as residue damages) that were ignored by the State. In all of our consutations we try to strive to provide practical advice for the landowner.  In many instances this means recommending that the landowner protect their right to just compensation by challending the State’s offer.  In more complicated situtations we will consult one of our appraisers (or other experts) to help provide addtional information for the client.  All of this work is done to insure that the landowner is fully armed with all of the facts before making a decision.  Remember you only have one shot, make it a good one.

Phil Sever

Sever Storey

Eminent Domain and Condemnation Attorneys for Landowners