State by State Laws

View A Synopsis of the Eminent Domain Laws in Your State

Eminent domain laws vary from state to state, both substantively and procedurally. Some laws are similar, while others differ substantially depending upon the given state and jurisdiction. Eminent domain laws are often based on a unique combination of constitutional provisions, statutes and other legislative enactments, court opinions, and rules of civil procedure. Within the profile pages of each OCA lawyer featured under Locate An OCA Lawyer in Your State you will find a brief overview of some of the current property rights and eminent domain laws within the selected state. Anyone wishing to have a deeper understanding of such laws or how they may apply to the facts in a given case is advised to speak with an OCA lawyer or other practicing attorney in eminent domain.

Where Does Your State Stand in Terms of Landowner Protections?

The degree of substantive landowner protections and safeguards in eminent domain and takings situations varies dramatically from state to state. Some states offer meaningful protections to ensure that landowners who face the taking of their private property (oftentimes their most valuable personal asset) are treated fairly. Though they may not always deliver on the promise, the overall goal of these states is to strive to make landowner’s ‘whole’ when it comes to their compensation claims, so they are not left worse off as a result of a taking to serve the public good.

Unfortunately, the statutory framework in many other states is not as beneficial to landowners. In these states, landowners are often forced to give up their valuable property for the public good without receiving the full measure of just compensation that they are entitled to. As one example, several states still provide no legal right for a landowner to be compensated for the fees associated with retaining legal counsel in a condemnation case. Thus, when a landowner seeks to hire a professional lawyer (as the government has on its side) to challenge an unlawful taking or to mount a defense to an inadequate offer of compensation, the landowner is left uncompensated for those out of pocket expenses, which can often be substantial.

Download and Read OCA’s Proposed Property Owner’s Bill of Rights

OCA believes that all property owners across the United States should be afforded certain fundamental and basic rights when it comes to the taking of their private property through the power of eminent domain for projects that will serve and benefit the general public. OCA also believes that every governmental entity that seeks to wield the awesome power of eminent domain should meet certain basic responsibilities and requirements.

To this end, OCA has developed a Proposed Property Owner’s Bill of Rights which it hopes will become the model for every state to either meet or exceed when considering current eminent domain legislation and future enactments. Download OCA’s Proposed Property Owner’s Bill of Rights today and lend your own voice to improving and enhancing landowners’ legal rights in taking cases, not only in your state but nationwide.

Consult With an Experienced OCA Lawyer to Learn about the Laws in your State

Because eminent domain laws vary substantially from state to state, both substantively and procedurally, a landowner seeking to understand the full measure of his or her rights under the law in a given state is advised to speak with an OCA lawyer. OCA lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced regarding the eminent domain framework in the state in which they practice.