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Category: Articles

December 22nd, 2015 — In Articles

U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Consider Constitutional Challenge to California Zoning Ordinance

As we previously discussed, Owners’ Counsel of America (OCA) and the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center (NFIB) have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an important property rights case decided by the California Supreme Court earlier this year. If not overturned, the case, California Building Industry Association v. San Jose, No. 15-330 (September 16, 2015), could set a damaging precedent that allows California agencies to impair the value of private property without paying the property owners just compensation.

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December 14th, 2015 — In Articles

Florida Court Upholds Attorneys’ Fees Award for ‘Excessive Litigation’ in Condemnation Cases

When the government takes a private citizen’s land through the exercise of eminent domain, it is obligated to pay the landowner “just compensation” for the property taken. This requirement is established by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the constitutions in all 50 states, and it serves to protect the fundamental rights of landowners across America. But, this begs the question: What is just compensation? How is it calculated, and who gets to decide?

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November 30th, 2015 — In Articles

How is Property Valued in a Condemnation Proceeding?

When a government agency, utility, energy company or other entity takes private property through eminent domain (known as “condemnation”), the landowner is entitled to the payment of just compensation. This right to just compensation is firmly established in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S Constitution, as well as state constitutions and laws across the country. But, what does it mean for compensation to be “just,” and who decides what is a just amount? Someone has to place a value on the land taken.  And, when the “taking” involves an easement or regulation, the property owner’s losses may not be strictly tied to the value of the affected property.

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November 2nd, 2015 — In Articles

Easements and Restrictive Covenants: When the Government Takes Without Taking

When most people think about eminent domain and the condemnation of private property, they imagine the government acquiring a citizen’s private property and converting it to a public use. While this is often the case, it is not the only way that the government can acquire private property. Governments may claim “non-possessory” rights in private land. Such rights allow the government to either (i) use, or (ii) place restrictions on a landowner’s use of private property.

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October 28th, 2015 — In Articles

The Keystone XL Pipeline Isn’t the Only Pipeline Concerning Property Owners

We have talked a lot recently about the ongoing debate and eminent domain issues involving TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL Pipeline across the western United States. But, this is by no means the only pipeline activity going on in the country. In fact, up and down the East Coast, property owners – many of whom are represented by our eminent domain lawyers – are battling to protect their land against a number of different pipeline projects.

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October 22nd, 2015 — In Articles

Non-Possessory Takings: North Carolina Supreme Court to Consider Inverse Condemnation in Future Highway Development Case

In a case that has garnered national attention, the North Carolina Supreme Court has agreed to review a court of appeals decision holding that a state statute effected a taking – and thereby implicated the property owners’ Constitutional rights. It is an interesting case — one that could have significant implications for property owners across the country.

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October 12th, 2015 — In Articles

Just Compensation, Relocation Expenses and Attorneys’ Fees: Financial Compensation in Eminent Domain

Property owners who have their land condemned by the government are entitled to just compensation. This is a fundamental right established by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and contained in state constitutions as well. While these constitutional protections are often the greatest source of compensation for property owners in eminent domain cases, they are not the only sources. Depending on the circumstances, various statutes may provide additional financial recourse for individuals and businesses that have their property taken using the power of eminent domain. These statutes often: Require payment of more than “just compensation” under certain circumstances Entitle property owners to recover their attorneys’ fees for defending their rights in a condemnation suit Provide property owners with compensation for their relocation costs.

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September 28th, 2015 — In Articles

Recent New York Condemnation Case Highlights Key Issues for Owners Seeking to Protect Their Property

A recent decision from New York highlights many of the key arguments that eminent domain attorneys can raise on behalf of their landowner clients in cases involving eminent domain. Although the property owners in this case were unsuccessful in their attempt to dismiss the taking, the arguments are instructive for property owners considering taking action to protect their legal rights.

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September 21st, 2015 — In Articles

More Answers to Property Owners’ Frequently Asked Questions about Eminent Domain

The concepts – and even terminology – involved in eminent domain law are complex and can be confusing. To help property owners understand the condemnation process, we have published answers to many frequently asked questions (FAQs). In this article, we provide answers to some additional FAQs that might be helpful to property owners. The answers provided are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice. For a free initial consultation, please contact an Owners’ Counsel eminent domain lawyer to discuss your situation.

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September 5th, 2015 — In Articles

Can I Afford to Hire an Eminent Domain Attorney?

You have received a notice from the government informing you that your property is needed for a public project.  The notice suggests that the government will use its power of eminent domain to take your property, if you can not reach an agreement on the price that the government should pay you for your land.  The idea of challenging the government to defend your property, protect your rights and make sure that you are compensated fairly can be overwhelming and may even seem out of reach.  You might wonder if you can afford to hire an experienced condemnation attorney to guide you through the eminent domain process and defend your property rights.  

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