Eminent domain gives the government the power to “take private property and convert
it into public use.” If the private property in question belongs
to you, you may be wondering if there is any way to stop this from happening.
The only way to stop eminent domain is to challenge the government’s
right to take. You can only do this if the government’s proposed
taking does not meet the requirements for public necessity or public purpose.
Even if you lose this challenge, you may still be entitled to a small
portion of your property. Sometimes, property owners are successful and
become known as “holdouts.”
Another name for eminent domain is
condemnation. Sometimes, governments condemn properties for redevelopment by labeling
entire areas or neighborhoods as “blighted,” or dilapidated,
unsafe, and unsightly. Blight satisfies the public use requirement and
gives the government permission to take, but properties deemed “blighted,”
may not actually meet the state requirements, which are constantly being
The government may not exercise
eminent domain unless they provide
fair compensation to the property owners. If your eminent domain challenge is unsuccessful,
you are still entitled to “just compensation.” In this process,
your property will be appraised, and the government will make you an offer,
like any other buyer, which you may accept or reject. If you reject the
offer, or are unable to agree on a price, the state of California will
file a lawsuit to take your property.
When an Appraisal Is Not Enough
When you are forced to relocate your business, a simple appraisal may not
be enough to compensate you for the true impact of that relocation. In
addition to undervaluing your property, the offer you receive from the
government may not consider the financial consequences of moving your
business, which includes losing regular customers and loyal employees.
Here at Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP, we believe “just compensation”
should encapsulate more than basic appraisals.
Call us at (888) 998-2031 or contact us online
to discuss how our attorneys
can strategically represent your case.