Just Compensation

Under the U.S. Constitution and your state constitution, a property owner is entitled to “just compensation” when his property is taken using the power of eminent domain.  The payment of just compensation is intended to fully indemnify the property owner in money for what he or she has lost in property.  When only a portion of the property is taken, the property owner may be entitled to the value of the property taken as well as damages to the remaining property.

Calculating Just Compensation

There are many legal principles and factors unique in condemnation which affect the value of the property and the calculation of just compensation. Whether the issue is the property’s highest and best use or the admissibility of various valuation techniques, Owners’ Counsel eminent domain attorneys know how to apply eminent domain law to the property owner’s advantage.

In valuing property, there are a number of considerations:

  • How do you maximize value?
  • Under what circumstances are business damages recoverable?
  • Under what circumstances can an owner be compensated for damages caused during construction of the public project?
  • In a partial taking, when is compensation for damages to the remaining property legally allowed?
  • In a partial taking, when can the government claim a setoff of damages by arguing the public project is going to increase the value of the remaining property?
  • What role does contamination play in eminent domain? Under what circumstances is it excluded from consideration?
  • Is the property designed for a special use, giving rise to unique valuation techniques?
  • How are fixtures treated in condemnation?
  • Who determines the compensation?
  • What is the time frame in receiving the compensation in hand?
  • How does the property owner secure maximum compensation and benefits for relocation?
  • When do tenants obtain compensation?

Experience and Resources to Maximize Compensation

To secure maximum compensation, a property owner is best advised to choose an experienced eminent domain attorney. OCA lawyers are skilled and experienced in the procedures and law governing eminent domain in their states and our member-attorneys have the resources and experience to guide you, the owner, to a successful result.