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Benefits of Settling an Eminent Domain Case Out of Court

Benefits of Settling an Eminent Domain Case Out of Court

By on Sep 1, 2014 in Eminent Domain Case |

There are a few different ways in which an eminent domain case can be resolved.  The two most common ways include settling out of court, or settling in a courtroom in front of a judge.  Both of these methods will get you to the same end-result, a conclusion to your eminent domain case and a value that is bestowed upon you for the property that is being taken by the government.  In the grand scheme of things, though, attempting to settle your eminent domain case out of court has some benefits that are worth noting.

No one likes to go to court unless it is absolutely necessary.  Thankfully, the government is typically willing to work with you to try to come to a resolution that is fair and just for you as well as them.  Eminent domain is all about the government seizing property for public use.  In exchange, they have to pay you what is considered to be fair market value for that property.  Getting to that fair market value can be an uphill battle when the two sides do not agree, but settling out of court can help both parties retain power, save time, and get a better end-result.

Have the Power of Negotiation

The power of negotiation is everything in an eminent domain case.  You want to be able to stand up for yourself and get what you believe is right for your property.  Prior to going to court, you retain the power of negotiation.  When you have an eminent domain attorney working by your side, you are going to be able to use factual information to back up offers and settlement proposals made with the government.

There is a great deal of information that can be obtained to support what you believe is your property’s fair market value.  This can range from looking at prior sales in your area of property similar to yours, as well as formal appraisals that you may have done on the property.  This type of information can give you the knowledge to go to the government and make demands that you believe are appropriate and just.  This is all based around the property that you have that is being sought by the government.  Settling out of court allows you to negotiate.

Retain Control Over the Final Settled Amount

When an eminent domain case heads to court, both you and the government basically lose control from that point forward.  Sure, your eminent domain attorney will be able to make a plea for you in terms of what you believe is the fair market value, but beyond that it all is up to the judge.  When an eminent domain case is in court, the judge has all of the power.  If they deem that the offer made by the government s fair, then that is what is going to stand and what you are going to have to abide by.  Vice versa, if they side in your favor, the government will have to pay you that amount.

The problem with this is that you and the government have both lost all control over the overall outcome of the case.  Control is something that you do not want to willingly give up when it pertains to the outcome of your property.  You do not want a judge dictating to you what your home is worth after you have spent the last ten or twenty years making it a part of your family and your life.  Settling out of court gives you and the government the power to negotiate and come to an agreed-upon amount that is fair in both of your minds and is not decided for you.

Settling out of court in an eminent domain case is typically a speedier process than going to court for a resolution.  This is because the court process has to be based around the scheduling of the court, the availability, and so on.  Settling out of court gives you the ability to really negotiate with the government in a way that hopefully will get you a fair value that you are comfortable agreeing to.  If your property is at stake, you want to have your eminent domain attorney working with you to negotiate in a way where you have control and a say in the amount that your property is given up for.