One of the biggest misconceptions that many people have when it comes to their property involves the issue of ownership. Although most who purchase land remain an owner for life or until they sell it, there are other instances where the government (local, federal or state) or other party may find it useful for public use. This is known as eminent domain. If you’re unaware of what this is, then read on. There’s also a construction project going in Hidalgo County known as SH 68, and several citizens will more than likely receive eminent domain notices in the near future.
If you live in Donna or north of Edinburg, then contact our eminent domain lawyers today! We’ll bring you up to speed on your rights as a landowner!
Project SH 68
If you live in eastern Hidalgo County, or more specifically in Donna and to the north of Edinburg, then there is a good chance that Project SH 68 could affect you. What exactly will the finished product be? It’ll be a main highway that will stretch for approximately 22 miles. The purpose is to improve northern and southern mobility while providing alternate routes during emergency events. If you live in this region, then continue on or contact our lawyers at your earliest convenience.
The Government and Your Land
In order for your land to be seized by the government, it must first prove that it will serve as a benefit to the community if being used for a construction project. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution doesn’t allow governments of varying types to seize land at its convenience. The government must first provide an owner with “just compensation” for the seizure. This means that if a property owner’s land is to be taken, he/she must be compensated with an amount equal to what it’s worth on the open market. For example, if a section of land being seized is worth $25,000 on the open market, the amount of compensation offered to the owner cannot be lower than that.
Who Determines What “Just Compensation” Is?
Once property has been chosen for a project and the eminent domain clause has been used, a surveyor is sent to value the land. If a value is determined, keep in mind that you don’t have to agree with it if you feel that the amount is too low for what your property is worth. This is why we recommend hiring your own surveyor for a second opinion. Feel free to be open with your concerns and never hesitate to reach out to us for help.
Seek Legal Guidance Today
We’re fully aware of how disheartening it can be to deal with losing property due to eminent domain. Understand that you aren’t alone in this. Our lawyers in McAllen have years of experience in dealing with these types of cases and are ready to help you get the amount of compensation that’s fair and will give you peace of mind to move forward. If you’ve recently received an eminent domain notice or believe that Project SH 68 may affect you, then contact us today to explore your options.