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Can You Fight to Keep Your Property in an Eminent Domain Case?

By on Jun 16, 2014 in Eminent Domain Case |

It is important to know your rights in an eminent domain claim made against your property.  The government, whether it be at the state or federal level, can be a scary entity to go up against.  Many people are under the belief that if the government wants to take their property via eminent domain, there really is not much that they can do.  This could not be any farther from the truth.  The eminent domain law does leave opportunity for a property owner to fight if they believe that the claim is not just.

legal gavel on a law book

Understanding the Law and the Government’s Right

The eminent domain law allows the government to acquire personal property that they deem as absolutely necessary for public use.  They are also required by law to pay you as a property owner fair market value in the event that they go forward with the claim.  Basically, if the government wants your piece of property, whether it be a home, an office building, and so on, they have to do two things.  First, they have to prove that it is necessary for public use.  Second, they have to make an offer and be willing to pay fair market value for that property.

Fighting the Nature of Public Use

The big area where property owners have the ability to fight back against an eminent domain claim is the interpretation of public use.  What the government may deem as necessary for public use may not seem all that important to you.  You may have very just and valid reasons as to why you do not think your property is needed in order for them to go ahead with whatever project or idea that they had in mind.

Public use in terms of an eminent domain claim usually means that the government needs the property for some type of infrastructure.  This could mean a public transportation station, a highway, a school, or something entirely different.  Why does it have to be your property though?  Can’t there be other areas or ways for them to get around having to acquire your property to do whatever they need to for the good of the public?  These are the areas where you can fight back, if you do not believe your property is necessary.

Bringing an Eminent Domain Attorney Onboard

One of the best things that you can do, if you are facing an eminent domain claim, is to hire an attorney whom specializes in the field.  They will be able to know what the government has for rights and if you have a chance to fight back and retain your property.

Eminent domain claims made by the government can be scary things to face.  No one wants to lose their piece of property, whether it be a home, office, or any other structure.  In the end, though, it is important to know that there are areas where you can push back and ensure you get a fair shot at either retaining your property, or getting fair compensation for it.