Contact | (904) 396-1900

What Constitutes Eminent Domain in Your Property Case

By on May 5, 2014 in Eminent Domain Case |

Eminent domain is a scary topic to discuss if you are a property owner. The mere fact that you are reading about eminent domain could mean that the government is coming after your property for public use. Eminent domain is a topic that is often misconstrued and twisted to mean many different things. In the end, though, you have a right to protect your property from being taken.

The Basic Definition of Eminent Domain

The basic theory behind eminent domain is the ability for the government to come in and take private property for public use. It is also commonly referred to as condemnation. This legal process can be pursued by the government if they have reason to take the property for either public purpose or public necessity.

How to Stop the Government from Taking Your Property

The government has to be able to prove that it is absolutely necessary in the eyes of the public to take your property. If they are unable to do this or show that the property has a need or public purpose, then you can prevent them from taking it. You have the ability in an eminent domain property case to protect your property. If you do not believe there is a public need to take your property, you can make that known in your case in front of a judge.

Getting Fair Value for Your Property

In the event that you are unable to keep the government from taking your property, you can proceed to the stage of negotiating with them for the price. The government cannot just come in and take your property without compensating you for it. You have a right to negotiate with the government in terms of the amount of money they will pay.

The government is going to come in and kick off the acquisition process in an eminent domain case. They likely, in most cases, start by offering a lowball offer to a buyer. This is a normal tactic that is often seen from a home buyer’s perspective; try to get the property for as cheap as you can. In the end, though, the government is going to have to pay what is fair for that property.

Taking the Eminent Domain Case to Court

Once the government makes their offer you are then likely to proceed to a formal case to resolve the dispute. A lawsuit will be filed to take over your property. The law requires the government to pay you what is considered to be valid compensation.

Valid compensation in an eminent domain case is all about getting paid what is appropriate based on the market value. Eminent domain does not give the government the right to take your property and pay you nothing. They may have a right, if it is a public need, to purchase your property from you. This is only done, though after agreeing via a court process what is just compensation for that property based on the current market.