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What Makes an Eminent Domain Claim Conclude in Court

By on Feb 3, 2014 in Eminent Domain Case |

Some eminent domain claims made by the government are easy and simple, while others are a lot more contentious. In the event that an eminent domain claim is made by the state or federal government against your property, it is good to know what could make that claim go to court. Eminent domain cases can be complicated and often require the expertise of an attorney in that field to be handled in favor of the property owner. Taking a look at what can cause a claim to go to court will help understand what signs to watch out for in your claim.

Disagreement Over the Government’s Right

Many property owners simply do not want to give up what they own to the government, even if they are going to be compensated for it. Think about someone who is living in a home, and has been in that home, for 20-years. The government comes in and with a claim of eminent domain attempts to take that home and use it for public use. Chances are, that owner is not going to willingly just sell the property. This is when there can be disagreement over the right of the government.

In order for the government to be able to acquire your property through eminent domain, they have to prove that it is absolutely necessary for the good of the public. Many times, these properties will have to be acquires to make way for something such as a new road, a new infrastructure building such as a police station, among other examples. You may not feel as though the property is needed for public use. This disagreement is often something that can only be settled by a judge when both sides simply do not see eye to eye.

Unfair Offers Being Made by the Government

The other factor that drives many eminent domain cases to the courtroom is disagreement over fair market value of a property. For the government to acquire a property through eminent domain, they have to pay what is referred to as fair market value to the owner. Fair market value can be interpreted in many different ways. There are various methods that appraisers are going to use, and even those numbers may not be what you think the property is worth. In cases such as this, a judge may be the only one that can help both sides understand and rule on what the true fair market value of a property is.

Not every eminent domain claim is going to end up in court. Many of them will settle out of court through discussions between you, the government, and your eminent domain attorney. An understanding, though, of what drives one of these claims to court, will help you gauge where your case is going and just how long it could take to fully be resolved in the end. Depending on the jurisdiction, taking an eminent domain claim to court could result in your favor, or go against you.