Understanding Your Rights as a Property Owner

People are often surprised to discover that their private property can be taken by the government. Most people become aware of the government’s power of eminent domain (also known as “condemnation” or “expropriation”) when they learn that their land is needed for a public project, such as road improvements, a new school or utility infrastructure.

One of government’s greatest powers is its ability to “take” private property without the consent of the owner under the law of eminent domain. The use of eminent domain to condemn (or “expropriate”) private property and the actual process of “taking” property for public use is limited by the Constitution and can be kept in check by skilled and knowledgeable attorneys familiar with eminent domain laws and procedures.

The Right to Just Compensation

“No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”

– United States Constitution, Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution safeguards private property ownership against the power of eminent domain by requiring that private property only be taken for a public use so long as “just compensation” is paid to the owner.

There are a number of considerations in valuing property taken by eminent domain and determining the amount of just compensation owed to the owner. Owners’ Counsel attorneys know how to apply condemnation law to a property owner’s advantage and can help maximize the amount of just compensation.

Navigating the Complex Eminent Domain Process

Eminent domain is complex. Condemnation laws and procedures vary from state to state and the process can be both emotional and confusing. OCA attorneys are experienced condemnation lawyers who focus on representing property owners against the Federal, state and local governments, utilities, redevelopment authorities, transportation departments and any other authorities that may be armed with eminent domain power. Our attorneys can guide you through the process and ensure your rights are fully protected.

The government has skilled eminent domain lawyers working for them, shouldn’t you?