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What Happens if You Refuse Eminent Domain?


Eminent domain is a government power that allows local and national entities to acquire private property and use it for a public purpose. If your home or business has recently become the subject of an eminent domain case, you may be wondering: How can I stop this? This is a frequently asked question that, unfortunately, does not often produce a favorable answer. In general, eminent domain can only be refused if the government is not fulfilling its responsibilities to the property owner, making the acquisition invalid in some way.

The Rights of Property Owners in Eminent Domain Cases

Property owners are entitled to certain rights when their land, home, or business is being acquired by the government in an eminent domain case. These rights are the basis of all eminent domain cases, and ensure that the property owner is fairly treated.

In order for an eminent domain case to be valid, the following conditions must be met:

  • The property will serve a publicly beneficial purpose once acquired

  • Just compensation is offered for the property

  • The property owner is represented and negotiations have been permitted

Can You Refuse an Eminent Domain Action?

In most cases, it is not possible to refuse an eminent domain action. The power of eminent domain is a legal right of the government. As long as the government is acquiring the property for public use and has fairly compensated you, there is unfortunately not much you can do once your property has been identified as a government need.

However, you can oppose the government’s requests if they are not acting justly, and can refuse their compensation offers to ensure you receive a fair sum. You do not have to accept the initial offer on your property from the government. Remember that just compensation is your right, and negotiations allow a fair figure to be reached.

Completely refusing the government’s offers and stopping an eminent domain case is much more difficult, and only happens in rare cases. To do this, you must prove that your rights have been violated in some way — for example, if the government is attempting to acquire your property for an unjust reason.

How an Attorney Can Help With Your Eminent Domain Case

An experienced eminent domain attorney, such as those of Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP, can ensure your rights are protected. Although stopping an eminent domain action is very rare, we can evaluate the government’s offers to make sure the correct conditions are met and you are justly compensated.

The Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP legal team is available to discuss the details of your eminent domain case. Contact us today to speak about your questions and concerns for free.

To schedule a free consultation with our lawyers, complete our contact form or call 888.998.2031.