Eminent Domain Proceedings

Eminent Domain proceedings are used by governmental agencies to acquire real estate (even when the owner doesn’t want to sell it) for use in a project of some kind for the general public benefit. A recent decision by the United States Supreme Court has greatly expanded the discretion of state and local governments to seize property, even when they do so for the benefit of a private company, if they feel the project contemplated by the private company will benefit the public. In mounting a defense to an eminent domain action, the landowner can resist the seizure itself, and can also challenge the dollar amount the agency is willing to pay for the land. The landowner in an eminent domain proceeding is entitled to the fair market value of the land.

 

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