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March 14th, 2016 — In News & Events

Alabama Attorney Casey Pipes Joins OCA’s Nationwide Network of Eminent Domain Attorneys

OCA is pleased to announce that Alabama real estate and condemnation lawyer, Casey Pipes, was recently selected for membership in the association.  Mr. Pipes will succeed his partner, Warren C. Herlong, Jr., as the Alabama member of OCA.  Warren, a charter member of OCA  and former Director on OCA’s Board of Directors from 2013 to 2016, has been named as an Emeritus Member of the association.  

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March 8th, 2016 — In Articles

State and Federal Legislators Considering Changes to Eminent Domain Laws

Recently, state and federal lawmakers from across the country have introduced a number of legislative changes in the areas of private property rights and eminent domain. In this article, we highlight some of the latest (potential) legislative developments.

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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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February 29th, 2016 — In News & Events

Virginia Property Rights Attorney Jeremy Hopkins Joins OCA

OCA is pleased to welcome eminent domain and property rights lawyer Jeremy P. Hopkins as the Virginia member of OCA’s nationwide network of eminent domain attorneys.  Mr. Hopkins succeeds his partner, Joseph T. Waldo, who was a founding member of OCA and who has been named as an Emeritus Member of the association. OCA is grateful to Joe Waldo for his years of dedication and commitment to OCA and to defending property owners. We look forward to continuing to work together with Joe and Jeremy in Virginia and across the United States to protect and preserve private property rights.

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February 22nd, 2016 — In Articles

Eminent Domain & Property Rights: Where Do the 2016 Presidential Candidates Stand on these Fundamental Issues?

Republican Presidential Candidates Discuss Their Opinions on Eminent Domain With the Presidential race heating up and the field of candidates narrowing down, more and more issues are revealing distinctions between the hopefuls for the Oval Office. Somewhat surprisingly, one issue that recently created a bit of controversy among Republican candidates was the issue of eminent domain.  The current Republican front runners – Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio – have been attacking each others’ positions on this important issue and stating their own on the fundamental right to own property

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February 11th, 2016 — In News & Events

Property Rights Lawyer Donald Joe Willis Honored With OCA’s 2016 Crystal Eagle Award

On January 30, 2016 Owners’ Counsel of America honored Oregon property rights, land use and condemnation attorney Donald Joe Willis with the Crystal Eagle Award for his advocacy over more than four decades on behalf of private property owners in land use, eminent domain and regulatory takings litigation throughout Oregon and nationally.

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February 1st, 2016 — In Articles

Can Prohibiting Demolition Constitute a Taking?

While it is clearly a taking when the government institutes condemnation proceedings to acquire private property and demolish any improvements upon the land, it’s much less clear that the government has taken an owner’s property rights when it tries to prohibit demolition on the owner’s private property. This issue arose in a recent case decided by Ohio’s First District Court of Appeals on December 30, 2015. The short answer: In some cases, prohibiting demolition can constitute a taking of private property under the Fifth Amendment.

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January 28th, 2016 — In Articles

Rails-to-Trails Takings: Property Owners’ Rights When Land Use Changes

In 1983, Congress enacted the federal National Trails System Act Amendment (known as the “Rails-to-Trails Act”) in order to preserve abandoned railroad rights of way by converting them into public recreational trails. Trails established under the Rails-to-Trails Act can range from walking and biking trails to green spaces for public use, such as the New York City High Line which was the subject of a recent takings case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and a blog post.

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January 25th, 2016 — In Articles

Georgia Court Rules Property Owners Are Entitled to Compensation and Attorneys’ Fees for Abandoned Condemnation Efforts

As we have previously discussed, while the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires payment of just compensation when the government exercises its power of eminent domain, several states have laws in place that provide property owners with additional financial remedies under certain circumstances. One such remedy that exists in many states is the ability to recover attorneys’ fees—typically when the government does something (such as making an unreasonably low compensation offer) that interferes with the property owners’ rights.

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January 21st, 2016 — In Articles

The Government’s Offer Isn’t Always “Just” Compensation

In order to exercise the power of eminent domain, government agencies are required – by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – to pay just compensation to the affected property owners. We discussed the Constitutional “just compensation” requirement in a previous post, which also highlighted some state laws that provide for additional compensation to individuals and businesses when private property is condemned by the government.

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