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June 30th, 2016 — In Articles

Glossary: Eminent Domain Terminology

If a government agency (or a utility or other private company acting with the government’s authority to use the power of eminent domain) is attempting to take your property, it is critical to make sure that you understand your rights under the law of eminent domain. For most people, this starts with familiarizing yourself with the basic terminology involved. To help you get started, we have prepared a glossary of some of the key terms.

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March 22nd, 2016 — In Articles

Eminent Domain vs. Inverse Condemnation: What’s the Difference?

Owners’ Counsel of America member-attorneys are dedicated to assisting private property owners defend their property rights when those rights are threatened by government intrusion or overreach. We realize that many of terms we discuss here and the concepts involved in eminent domain law are complex and can be confusing.  To shed some light on this “dark corner of the law” we have answered some of the frequently asked questions landowners may have relating to eminent domain and the condemnation process here and here.  In this article, we discuss the differences between eminent domain and inverse condemnation. Eminent Domain vs. Inverse Condemnation Eminent Domain There are two types of government acquisition or “taking” of private property.  One form of property acquisition includes the government’s exercise of its eminent domain power to force the sale of private property for a public project or use.  Eminent Domain – also referred to as “condemnation” – is the power of local, state or federal government agencies to take private property for public use provided the owner is paid just compensation. Sometimes, private corporations such as oil and gas companies, railroads or redevelopment authorities may be granted eminent domain power to construct projects providing a benefit to the public. The use of eminent domain power to take property is referred to by many terms and varies from state to state as well as internationally.  The acquisition may be referred to as a “condemnation” or “direct condemnation,” “expropriation,” “appropriation” or simply a “direct taking.”  In a direct condemnation or direct taking scenario, the government agency or other entity using the power […]

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March 3rd, 2016 — In Articles

I Received a Condemnation Notice. What are My Rights?

If you received a condemnation notice or a notice that your property may be needed for a public project, it means that a federal, state or local government authority is seeking to acquire your property (or an interest in your property) using the power of eminent domain. Eminent domain is the power granted to the government and governmental agencies to seize private property for public use. This power is not absolute and as a property owner, you have a number of important legal rights. However, protecting these rights can be a challenge.

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January 4th, 2016 — In Articles

Can Eminent Domain Be Used to Acquire Natural Gas and Water Rights?

In most eminent domain cases, property owners are fighting to protect their land from condemnation. Whether for a public park, road, hospital, or utility, the government most often uses its power of eminent domain to obtain the right to build on private property. But, what if the government isn’t seeking to take your property, but rather the resources beneath it? This presents an important question for landowners in resource-rich states like California, Montana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and others. Recently, cases and proposed statutes affecting private property owners’ natural gas and water rights have brought this issue to the forefront.

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December 28th, 2015 — In Articles

When Can Property Owners Challenge Eminent Domain?

While state and federal government agencies have the power of eminent domain – to take private property for public use – that power is not unlimited.  Eminent domain power is limited by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by individual state constitutions and laws.  If the government seeks to take your property, there are potential defenses an eminent domain attorney may employ to challenge the taking.  While certain defenses challenge the condemnation outright, others focus on ensuring that you receive just compensation for the taking of your property. In this article, we provide a brief overview of four of the most common defenses to condemnation:

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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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September 4th, 2015 — In Articles

Property Owners’ Frequently Asked Questions About the Keystone XL Pipeline

If you own property on the proposed route of the Keystone XL Pipeline, it is important to understand your legal rights. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Keystone XL Pipeline. You can also read our answers to frequently asked questions about eminent domain.

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September 2nd, 2015 — In Articles

Understanding Your Rights in Inverse Condemnation and Regulatory Takings Cases

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution establishes that the government must pay property owners just compensation for the taking of private property for a public purpose. Most government takings involve the condemnation of private property using the power of eminent domain. In a typical eminent domain case, the government issues a notice in advance of the taking and in most jurisdictions makes an initial offer to purchase the needed property.

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June 25th, 2015 — In Articles

Property Owners’ Frequently Asked Questions About Eminent Domain

When you learn that your property may be condemned, you need information and advice as to how to proceed and what actions to take. Here are a number of common questions and answers which may be helpful, including: What is eminent domain? Who can use eminent domain? What does “public use” mean? Can eminent domain be used to take my property and give it to another private party?

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