When you buy land or property, you likely assume that you can use that property however you like. However, even though you own it, you may not always be able to fully control what happens to it. In fact, there may be situations in which the government can take your property using a legal principle called eminent domain. This may feel shocking and unfair, but there are things you can do that will allow you to protect your interests if this ever happens to you.
Eminent domain is a legal principle that allows the government to take privately owned property for an endeavor that is in the public interest. While it may be outrageous that this could happen, it is possible, but property owners still have rights. You have the right to challenge eminent domain, seek fair compensation for your property and fight back against the unfair intrusion of the government on your life.
Fighting for your property rights
If the government requires your property for a specific purpose, it must give you ample notice. Your property may be necessary for the expansion of roads, installation of cell towers or utility lines, necessary public buildings and more. In exchange for taking your property, the government must offer you fair compensation for it. You also have the right to a hearing during which you can challenge the eminent domain, and the government must prove the justification for taking property by proving the following:
- There was an actual taking of property as defined by law.
- The taking of the property was for public use.
- The property owner received fair compensation for his or her property.
During your challenge of eminent domain, you have the right to seek a stop to the taking of property or more compensation from the government than originally offered. You will benefit from understanding the true value of your property and how the eminent domain could impact the value of the remainder of your property.
Don’t navigate it alone
The government taking your property is much more than just an inconvenience for you. It can represent financial loss and other complications in your life. If you received notice of eminent domain, you will benefit from seeking guidance regarding the ways you can fight back and seek the best possible outcome.