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What Is Eminent Domain and How Does It Work?

 Posted on August 23, 2023 in Real Estate Law

Tarrant County real estate lawyerThe founders of the United States anticipated that the government may, from time to time, want to take over private property in order to complete a project on behalf of the broader public. They ultimately decided to restrict this governmental right somewhat in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which insists that “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Therefore, the process of eminent domain in the United States involves the government taking private property for public use and compensating the original owner of the property for that taking. Those who are facing condemnation actions as a result of eminent domain concerns generally benefit from working with an attorney experienced in these matters because seeking just compensation is not always an easy task. 

What Kind of Property Can Be Taken Via Eminent Domain? 

Ever since the nation’s first major eminent domain case – Kohl v. United States (1875) – most eminent domain actions have focused on real estate matters. However, it is important for anyone who owns property, from intellectual property to contract rights, to understand that the government’s eminent domain power is very broad. Both commercial and personal property rights – just like commercial and residential land, airspace, water rights, and other real property concerns – can be taken by the government via eminent domain as long as the affected property owner is justly compensated for the taking in question.

How Are Property Owners Compensated for Condemned Property?

As just compensation for condemned property is a Constitutional right of property owners, the government cannot simply pay whatever it pleases for a taking. Most of the time, a complete taking – in which a total parcel of land, property, or rights are being condemned – must result in a payment of the highest market rate available. By contrast, a partial taking – in which some but not all of a property owner’s land, rights, etc. are condemned – may be compensated justly based on the value of the portion of property that has been taken and/or compromised.

Contact a Knowledgeable Tarrant County Real Estate Lawyer for More Information

When the government seizes valuable commercial, residential, or personal property, it is very important that a property owner’s Fifth Amendment rights are properly respected. If you are a property owner and you have been notified that the government intends to condemn your property, you will want to speak with the skilled team of Tarrant County, TX real estate lawyers at Cain & Kiel Law as soon as you can. By being as proactive as possible, you can better ensure that your interests are not taken advantage of as your situation evolves. To learn more about your rights and options, schedule a risk-free, confidential case evaluation by reaching out online or calling 817-645-1717 today. We look forward to working with you.

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