Stopping Eminent Domain

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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 renegotiated.

Just Compensation

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.

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