Owning real estate means you could potentially face the government one
day and they might want to take all or some of your property. The state
might simply tell you that they are going to take it, or they might do
something to take the property, or part of it, out of your control. This
is where the difference between eminent domain and inverse condemnation lies.
Understanding the Difference
For a property owner, understanding the difference between eminent domain
and inverse condemnation is a must. Here is what you should know:
Eminent Domain: One aspect of the sovereign power of government is its ability to force
the sale or take private property for public use. When doing so, the government
has an obligation to pay just compensation for the property. It is possible
for a property owner to challenge the ability of the government to take
the property under constitutional or statutory law, but such attempts
rarely succeed. Instead, most legal battles are less focused on the actual
seizure of the land and more interested in disputing the value of the property.
In California, the statute defines fair market value as the highest price
on the date of valuation, which a seller would agree to and a buyer would
be willing to pay for. Of course, the situation is not nearly as straightforward
as it sounds and, oftentimes, this results in a battle between expert
Inverse Condemnation: While eminent domain is initiated by the government, inverse condemnation
is initiated by the property owner when the government tries to seize
the land without following proper eminent domain procedures. This is often
referred to as a “taking” and requires the government to compensate
the real estate owner accordingly, much like it would in an eminent domain case.
A taking can also result from damage or another form of diminution of the
property’s use or value due to government conduct, or from a government
regulation that goes too far. However, this is a complex area and absolutely
requires the skilled legal assistance of an attorney experienced in such areas.
California Eminent Domain Attorneys You Can Trust
At Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP, our San Diego legal team has the
experience, insight, and skill to guide you through even the most complex
eminent domain matters. We have been representing clients for nearly three
decades and will use our experience and knowledge to help protect your
property, your company, and your best interests, regardless of its challenges.
Contact our office today at (888) 998-2031 to tell us about your situation
in a free case evaluation.