We know that the idea of the federal government seizing your property at a whim’s notice seems unfair. While the United States Constitution does give the government the right to take your piece of land as long as it’s in the best interest of the public, it brings up the question, “What rights do homeowners have when the government utilizes an eminent domain clause?” We’re here to answer your most pressing questions.
How Does the State Take Property?
Don’t let the term scare you. Eminent domain simply refers to when the government tries to gain ownership of private property. The way a buyer negotiates on the cost of property, so can the state. If your property has crossed the sights of the government due to construction of a bridge, school or highway, expect to see proceedings of eminent domain.
What Criteria Should I Follow When Selecting an Appraiser?
An appraiser that surveys your land to ensure that you receive the maximum amount for your piece of property should meet the following standards:
- Experience with the type of property
- Ability to write and edit a thoroughly comprehensive appraisal report
- A full understanding of eminent domain rules
- Experience as a witness in court
Can the Government be Stopped from Taking My Property?
It’s important to know that there are often cases when proposed eminent domain clauses don’t meet the requirements of public purpose. If, however, the government proves that the piece of land will be put to greater use, then a seizure cannot be prevented. That being said, the government cannot dictate the price that will be paid either.
Can the Government Come Onto My Property Before Taking It?
The law does allow a condemnor to come and study your piece of land if it’s suitable for “the greater good of the public”. First, the condemnor must send you a letter that requests the permission to enter your land 15 days before the date of the proposed inspection. Always ensure that the letter includes specific tests, examinations and the purpose of the inspection.
Can I Testify on the Value of My Property?
Landowners are entitled to testify should eminent domain conversations fall through. People can testify on what they believe to be fair compensation for their property. While homeowners won’t be looked at as experts when testimony is given, they still possess knowledge of their own property. Many times, a home or business owner can testify on not being offered the proper amount of compensation for their property.
Helping You With Your Case
Project SH 68 is a plan for future mainlines, an overpass and a four-lane highway that will stretch from Donna to the northern part of Edinburg. If you’ve received a letter or visit from a government or local official about negotiating the sale of your property, then call us immediately. We’ll help you get the compensation you deserve.
For more information about eminent domain or Project SH 68, contact us today. One of our main focuses is eminent domain law and we’ve handled many similar matters. We can help explain your rights and options to ensure that you get the most value for your property.