Tag: just compensation
When Can Property Owners Challenge Eminent Domain?
Posted on Dec 28, 2015 in Articles
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:
Florida Court Upholds Attorneys’ Fees Award for ‘Excessive Litigation’ in Condemnation Cases
Posted on Dec 14, 2015 in Articles
When the government takes a private citizen’s land through the exercise of eminent domain, it is obligated to pay the landowner “just compensation” for the property taken. This requirement is established by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the constitutions in all 50 states, and it serves to protect the fundamental rights of landowners across America. But, this begs the question: What is just compensation? How is it calculated, and who gets to decide?
How is Property Valued in a Condemnation Proceeding?
Posted on Nov 30, 2015 in Articles
When a government agency, utility, energy company or other entity takes private property through eminent domain (known as “condemnation”), the landowner is entitled to the payment of just compensation. This right to just compensation is firmly established in the Fifth Amendment to the U.S Constitution, as well as state constitutions and laws across the country. But, what does it mean for compensation to be “just,” and who decides what is a just amount? Someone has to place a value on the land taken. And, when the “taking” involves an easement or regulation, the property owner’s losses may not be strictly tied to the value of the affected property.
New Jersey Beachfront Residents Represented by OCA Attorney Sue to Prevent Use of Eminent Domain
Posted on Nov 9, 2015 in News & Events
In October, a group of New Jersey beachfront homeowners brought suit against the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) seeking to prevent the agency’s use of eminent domain. Represented by eminent domain lawyer and OCA New Jersey representative Anthony DellaPelle, the property owners argue that the DEP’s plan to construct protective sand dunes on their properties would prevent them from taking their own precautions to avoid damage to their homes and land.
Just Compensation, Relocation Expenses and Attorneys’ Fees: Financial Compensation in Eminent Domain
Posted on Oct 12, 2015 in Articles
Property owners who have their land condemned by the government are entitled to just compensation. This is a fundamental right established by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and contained in state constitutions as well. While these constitutional protections are often the greatest source of compensation for property owners in eminent domain cases, they are not the only sources. Depending on the circumstances, various statutes may provide additional financial recourse for individuals and businesses that have their property taken using the power of eminent domain. These statutes often: Require payment of more than “just compensation” under certain circumstances Entitle property owners to recover their attorneys’ fees for defending their rights in a condemnation suit Provide property owners with compensation for their relocation costs.
Can I Afford to Hire an Eminent Domain Attorney?
Posted on Sep 5, 2015 in Articles
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.
Understanding Your Rights in Inverse Condemnation and Regulatory Takings Cases
Posted on Sep 2, 2015 in Articles
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.
Virginia Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Landowners in Eminent Domain Case: Condemnor’s Initial Appraisal is an Admission of Value
Posted on Apr 16, 2015 in News & Events
This morning the Virginia Supreme Court issued its opinion in Ramsey v. Commissioner of Highways, No. 149029, finding that the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) initial pre-condemnation appraisal is not a confidential offer of settlement, but rather, an admission of value that should be considered as evidence at trial.
Owners’ Counsel of America Files Amicus Brief Supporting Landowner in Eminent Domain Case Before Oregon Supreme Court
Posted on Mar 26, 2015 in News & Events
The Owners’ Counsel of America (OCA) together with the Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA) and Oregonians In Action (OIA) filed an amicus brief supporting the property owner in State of Oregon v. Alderwoods (Oregon), Inc., case number S062766. The brief asks the Oregon Supreme Court to confirm a long-standing rule that owners of property directly adjacent to a highway have a right to direct access to the roadway.
OCA’s Amicus Brief Asks: Can the Most Important Evidence in an Eminent Domain Trial be Withheld From a Jury?
Posted on Dec 19, 2014 in News & Events
This week we filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Virginia Beach homeowners, James and Janet Ramsey, in Ramsey v. Commissioner of Highways, Record No. 140929 (review granted November 3, 2014), a case we previously discussed here.