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September 21st, 2015 — By — 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.

Q. If I receive a condemnation notice, does that mean that the government has already taken my property?
A. No. Generally, a condemnation notice is provided to inform you that the government intends to take your property through eminent domain. In many states, a condemning authority must follow certain procedures before it can acquire your property using the power of eminent domain. These procedures often require that the government provide a property owner with notice of the proposed public project and of the need to acquire your property. If you have received a condemnation notice, you still have the opportunity to consult with an experienced eminent domain lawyer to learn how you can defend your property and enforce your statutory and constitutional rights.

Q. If the government has already taken my property, is it too late to take action?
A. Probably not, however, it will depend upon the facts of your case. If your property has been acquired by the government, contact an eminent domain lawyer for a thorough case evaluation. Lawyers with OCA regularly represent property owners seeking to maximize just compensation for property acquired by eminent domain and in situations where the government may have taken property without filing condemnation proceedings, such as inverse condemnation and regulatory takings claims.

Q. What is an “easement,” and how does it relate to eminent domain?
A. Sometimes, a condemning agency does not need to acquire property outright, but only needs to obtain certain rights to use it. In these cases, the agency may seek to acquire a property right known as an “easement” using the power of eminent domain. An easement allows the government (or in some cases, a private entity) to convert a portion of your property for public use.

A recent, high-profile example of a company seeking easements through eminent domain is TransCanada’s efforts to make way for the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada is currently fighting with property owners in Nebraska to obtain the rights it needs to build its new pipeline across America.

Q. What should I look for in an eminent domain lawyer?
A. Eminent domain laws are complex, are constantly changing and are unique in each state and in the Federal Court system. As a result, when the government or a private entity threatens to take your private property, you need a lawyer who is experienced in and dedicated to this area of the law.

The lawyers in OCA’s nationwide network are committed to representing property owners in eminent domain and property rights litigation. OCA lawyers have successful track records representing private owners in condemnation and property rights proceedings. Their results highlight their skills and abilities. If you would like more information about an OCA attorney’s results, please contact us.

Speak with an OCA Eminent Domain Lawyer Today

Owners’ Counsel of America (OCA) attorneys are dedicated to representing private landowners who are facing the condemnation of their property through eminent domain. For more information about your property rights or what to do if you are facing an eminent domain taking, we encourage you to get in speak with an OCA attorney about your case, call (877) 367-6963 or contact us online.