Dallas Eminent Domain Lawyers
Eminent Domain & Condemnation Cases
Under eminent domain, the government has the right to seize your private property for public use. To be lawful, the seizure must involve fair payment, meaning the government agency must pay you the fair market value for your property.
Eminent domain cases often give rise to disputes between government agencies and private property owners. It is important that you work with a knowledgeable attorney, like those at Potts Law Firm, to ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. We have helped clients successfully challenge the legality of condemnation and seizure, as well as pursue the actual fair market value for their properties seized under eminent domain.
For help with your case, contact our Dallas eminent domain attorneys at (214) 238-8572. Your initial consultation is completely free and confidential.
What Is Eminent Domain?
Eminent domain is covered under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It allows local, state, and federal government entities to seize personal property for public use with proper pay. This process is known as condemnation.
Eminent domain can be used by the government to seize property in order to make way for:
- Public roads
- Public universities or schools
- Public parks
- Nature reserves
- Water treatment plants
- Oil and gas production
- Government pipelines
- Public transportation infrastructure, such as railroads
- Public developments
For eminent domain seizures to be legal, the condemning agency must prove the validity of public use, public purpose, public good, or public necessity. Additionally, the condemning agency must provide the property owner with just pay based on the fair market value of the property.
Common Issues Under Eminent Domain
Properties may be condemned under eminent domain for various reasons. However, the government can only utilize eminent domain to seize property for “fair public use.” The U.S. Supreme Court has left it up to the individual states to determine what constitutes “fair public use,” and, unsurprisingly, this has led to numerous grey areas in eminent domain cases.
Another common issue with eminent domain is the matter of “fair” pay. The condemning agency must offer the property owner the “fair market value” of their property—but this is largely open to interpretation. Condemning agencies often utilize independent appraisers to evaluate properties who often fail to consider numerous factors affecting current fair market value.
Stopping Eminent Domain
It is possible to stop eminent domain on one of the two following grounds:
- Public Use: If you can prove that your property was not acquired for a valid public use or purpose, you may be able to stop eminent domain. This includes cases in which eminent domain or condemnation are utilized to seize property for private use, as well as unjustified uses.
- Fair Market Value: You can also stop eminent domain by proving that you were not offered the fair market value for your property. In some cases, this will only temporarily halt eminent domain but can result in you receiving a fair price for your property.
If you wish to stop eminent domain or condemnation proceedings, we strongly urge you to contact our Dallas eminent domain attorneys at Potts Law Firm right away. These are highly complex cases, and it is important that you have an experienced legal team by your side, one that is committed to protecting your rights and advocating for your best interests.
For a complimentary case review, call (214) 238-8572 or reach us online using our secure form.
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Wrongful Death of Employee $6.35 Million
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Potts Law Firm secured a $750,000 settlement for an oil rig worker whose foot was severely injured after being caught in rig tongs. The oil rig company had failed to properly tag out and lock out the tongs after a power outage. When the power returned to the rig, the tongs closed on the worker’s foot, crushing his bones.
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Partner Andrew A. Woellner was privileged to represent another attorney in his fight against an underpaying insurance carrier. When his home was damaged by hail in Dallas, Texas, the insurance carrier told him that only 3 roof tiles were damaged, and the repair did not exceed the deductible.
Commercial Property Dispute $713,000
Potts Law Firm attorneys negotiated on behalf of a commercial property owner whose land was taken by the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) to make way for new road construction. TxDOT's original offer of $466,396 did not consider other reasonable comparable sales in the area.