How to Protect Your Property in an Eminent Domain Case
Many homeowners fear that they could have their property taken from them at any point. This is reality due to eminent domain, which gives the government the power to take your private property for public use. So how do you fight this? How can you protect your property in the event that an eminent domain case is brought forward and your property is sought?
Know the Laws and Your Rights
The first thing in protecting your property in an eminent domain case is to know the laws and your rights. The best way to do this is through your own research and by consulting with an eminent domain attorney. They are going to know all of the state and federal laws that apply to you and your particular property. They will tell you what your rights are in terms of compensation for your property, how to retain your property if possible, and what the next steps are going to be.
Understanding the Eminent Domain Process
There is a distinct process that is usually laid out in an eminent domain case. The more that you know from a process perspective, the better you are going to be able to prepare to either try and defend your property, or to ensure you get fair compensation for it.
The majority of these types of cases start with a notice that is sent from the government to you. This notifies you that they are seeing your property for a public use, which they will lay out. Next comes the appraisal, which is going to be done on your property to come to what is the fair market value. The United States Constitution states that you are allowed “just compensation” in exchange for your property in any of these types of cases.
The government from here is going to make you an offer for your property. If you decline the offer, this is when the matter will likely go to court. If you believe that your property does not need to be taken for public use, this is the arena in which you can fight the claim. If you do not feel that the offer was “just compensation” for the property, this is also where you will be able to battle that out to get more for your property. Reaching the end result is going to be much smoother and likely more in your favor if you have an attorney there to help guide you, but understanding the process is a very good start.
Protecting your property in an eminent domain case is all about knowing the process, the laws, and what you are entitled to. The government must come to an agreement with you to take your property. You have a right to fight this claim, if you do not feel as though the compensation proposed to you is fair, or if you do not believe your property is needed for public use. Either way, the assistance of an eminent domain attorney will help get you the result you desire.