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Library and Resource Center

Welcome Property Owners Across the Country!

We invite you to visit this Library and Resource Center that has been specifically designed and developed for you. As in all situations, knowledge is power. Accordingly, we at OCA want to make sure that every property owner in America facing a taking of property has as much information as possible about the process and procedures behind the power of eminent domain and takings law. Empower yourself with the best defense of all: information and knowledge about your rights and the government’s responsibilities.

Disclaimer: This Library is designed to provide you with general information for educational purposes only. Nothing contained herein is intended to constitute legal advice and the resources offered are not a substitute for consulting with an OCA lawyer or other attorney knowledgeable about eminent domain and takings matters.

Check Out Our Dictionary of Key Terms

Familiarize yourself with the key words and phrases that define the type, nature and scope of various takings situations, including the most typical taking of private property through the government’s intentional use of its’ eminent domain power. Every eminent domain case combines elements of constitutional and statutory law, litigation, and appraisal theory and practice. As a result, understanding what is meant by such terms as Public Purpose, Burden of Proof, Date of Value, Highest and Best Use, Remainder Damages and the Comparable Sales or Market Approach is important in knowing how to defend your property rights and maximize your compensation claims. Empower yourself by getting to know the language of eminent domain and takings law.

Have a Question? Read Our Helpful FAQ’s

OCA knows that landowners have many questions and concerns when they first learn that their property may be taken by a governmental entity. Read some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and responses to understand the eminent domain process, to know what defenses may exist to the right to take, and to learn about what is involved in prosecuting your rightful just compensation claims.

Familiarize Yourself With the Stages of an Eminent Domain Case

No two eminent domain cases are exactly alike and the laws governing the process and procedures behind an eminent domain filing may differ remarkably from state to state and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. But there are typical steps and stages that are often followed when a governmental entity seeks to acquire property by eminent domain. Review these stages so you can gain a general understanding of what to expect if the government notifies you that your property will be taken.

Learn About the Property Rights and Eminent Domain Laws in Your State

Eminent domain and takings jurisprudence has been developed over time through a unique combination of constitutional law, statutes, case law and rules. Moreover, what makes up the eminent domain and takings laws in Maryland may be entirely different then the laws applicable in Colorado, or Oregon, or Texas, or Florida. Substantively and procedurally, state eminent domain cases are also different from federal cases. Within the profile pages of the OCA attorneys featured in Locate an OCA Lawyer, you will find a general synopsis of some of the property rights and eminent domain laws applicable to each member’s state. Read and inform yourself about the eminent domain laws in your own state and then consult with an OCA lawyer to learn more about how the law may be applied in your given situation.

Read Articles About Select Topics of Importance to Property Owners

Visit OCA’s bank of helpful and informative Articles. OCA’s Library not only has many useful General Articles, but under Featured Articles, you will find information on an array of specific topics that property owners may face in an eminent domain case. Such topics include issues relating to: 

  • Abandonment
  • Appraisals
  • Attorney Fees
  • Code Violations
  • Comparable Sales
  • Damages
  • Depositions
  • Fair Market Value
  • Flooding
  • Highest and Best Use
  • Highway Takings
  • Inverse Condemnation 
  • Leases, Lessors, and Lessees
  • Negotiations
  • Owner Valuation Testimony
  • Property Owner Knowledge
  • Public Use
  • Rails to Trails
  • Urban Renewal and Blight