EMINENT DOMAIN AND CONDEMNATION

Eminent Domain (or condemnation) is a complex legal area that allows the government to seize your land for public uses, such as building or expanding a road or highway, without your consent. Fighting back against condemnation often requires the help of attorneys that are ready, willing, and able to handle your condemnation case.

Both the United States and Texas Constitutions require that the Government pay you a fair value for land they seize. However, the word “fair” is highly subjective — and is first determined by the government. The government has a team of appraisers, engineers, and attorneys that have been planning to seize your land for years.

With the Potts Law Firm, you have the opportunity to defend your rights as a land owner and regain your peace of mind. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge needed to help ensure that you receive fair compensation for your land and property. The sooner you talk to one of our experienced attorneys, the sooner we can help you in your condemnation fight.

 

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types of eminent domain and condemnation claims we handle

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Things that are not compensable for your eminent domain case:

  • Noise and nuisance
  • Dust and debris
  • Offers to purchase the property that do not end up in a sale
  • Other offers to purchase other properties in the area
  • Tax valuations
  • Project influence
  • Future value of the property
  • Business income (there are very limited exclusions to this)
  • Circuity of traffic

The Potts Law Firm obtains a contingency fee for eminent domain cases based on the dollar amount above the condemning authorities initial offer. Meaning, you’re guaranteed to make more than you were originally offered if we win your case.

It is not recommended that you represent your own eminent domain case. People that do not deal in eminent domain or condemnation matters are often mistaken on what damages they can collect and how to properly evaluate the value of their property.

The Potts Law Firm legal counsel will fight to maximize your compensation and protect your rights.

You can anticipate the following:

  • A request for survey letters
  • Agents for the condemning authority asking permission to talk to you
  • Appraisals from the condemning authority
  • An initial offer letter (usually requiring you to respond within 30 days)

Your protections are outlined in the Landowner’s Bill of Rights, which will be provided to you by the condemning authority.

Public use is the legal requirement necessary for the condemner to take or condemn your property.

You need to know your rights and immediately take action to protect those rights.

Typically, we advise our clients to allow for survey permission to obtain an accurate metes and bounds description of the property and of the taking. Clients should be wary of survey companies asking for environmental and engineering studies on the property.

Trees may be compensable dependent on many factors. Trees may require an arborist to determine their value.

The landman is usually an independent contractor and has little to no authority to bind the condemner.

Agreements made with the land services company are not binding unless they are in writing and approved by the ultimate condemning authority.

The condemning authority will often hire an independent appraiser to evaluate your property. These appraisers often have an interest in obtaining a uniform value for all of the properties, will use older sales to justify their valuations, and can be locked into sales that are not truly comparable to your property.

Have a question about Potts Law? Talk to an expert.