Houston Eminent Domain Attorneys
Protecting the Rights of Houston Property Owners
Eminent domain allows the Texas government and its local municipalities to seize private property for public use. A Texas government might attempt to condemn your property to expand a highway or build a new public project, for example. If you learn your property has been targeted, you will need seasoned legal advocates to help you fight back and ensure you are treated and compensated fairly.
At Potts Law Firm, it’s all about our power and results. Having secured over $1 billion for our clients, we have an exceptional track record and are ready to put our skills and experience to work for you. Our Houston eminent domain lawyers fully understand the intricacies of this complex area of the law and will quickly determine whether the government has the right to take your property. If their claim is sound, we will make every effort to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation. We are committed to defending your rights as a landowner and will be there to provide responsive, comprehensive support from beginning to end.
You owe no legal fees unless we win, so do not hesitate to contact us online or call (713) 348-9638 and schedule a free initial consultation. Same-day appointments are available, and we offer our services in English and Spanish.
Can I Stop Eminent Domain in Texas?
If you learn the government is attempting to take your property via eminent domain, you may understandably be wondering if you have any recourse, especially if you do not wish to lose your land. The unfortunate truth is the government does have the right to seize private property in certain circumstances under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The only way to stop eminent domain is to prove the government does not actually have the right to take your property in your specific case, which is not always possible.
The government can only take private property if it has plans to use the seized property for a legitimate public purpose. What constitutes an acceptable public purpose has become the subject of some legal debate. Seizing private property to expand a highway that benefits all motorists who frequent the area may be reasonably considered a public purpose, but using private property to build a new commercial project that only theoretically benefits an area may be more of a gray area.
Further muddying the waters is the practice of designating a property or general area as “blighted.” When a property is blighted, it is considered unsafe or unsightly. Some municipalities have been known to abuse the blight designation to justify eminent domain seizures and neighborhood redevelopments that are unfair to landowners. In these instances, our Houston eminent domain attorneys can help you challenge the government and fight to protect your right to property.
Can a Private Person or Business Seize My Property under Eminent Domain in Texas?
Private entities, including individuals and companies, do have the right to seize properties via eminent domain if they have been formally given that authority by a local, state, or federal government. They cannot exercise eminent domain without explicit permission from a government agency, so it is important to discuss your concerns with a lawyer if a private entity informs you of their intention to take your property.
What Is Inverse Condemnation?
There are some cases where a government or a private entity acting on its behalf will attempt to seize private property without an eminent domain declaration. Doing so prevents the property owner from receiving just compensation for their property and is unlawful. Inverse condemnation is the type of legal action that is taken to seek compensation for these scenarios. You may also need to consider filing an inverse condemnation claim if a local government’s change to zoning ordinances impacts how you can use your property.
If you learn the government is considering taking your property for a public purpose, do not hesitate to call (713) 348-9638 or contact us online.
I had a wonderful experience with this law firm.- Stephen P.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him or any of the team at Potts.- Theo C.
The Potts Law Firm is a powerhouse of brilliant attorneys.- Molly H.
I would recommend Potts Law Firm for any and all legal matters that come my way in the future!- W. Gary
Great law firm!- Hugo G.
How Can I Ensure I Receive Fair Compensation for Property Seized under Eminent Domain in Texas?
You are entitled to the fair market value of your property when the government takes it under eminent domain. What is considered “fair” is also not always clear, and you should assume the government will not be acting in your best interest. They will most likely hire appraisers, engineers, and attorneys who will make it their mission to pay you as little as possible. You will need your own legal representation to level the playing field, which is where our team at Potts Law Firm comes in. We are familiar with the techniques that governments and private frequently use to undervalue property in eminent domain cases.
Our Houston eminent domain lawyers are so confident that we can get you more compensation that we only take a contingency fee on the dollar amount above the initial offer. In other words, you will owe us nothing if you we are unable to secure a better deal than what you were originally offered.
Commercial Property Dispute $645,000
Potts Law Firm attorneys negotiated a settlement on behalf of a client whose land was taken by a private power line company. The company’s original offer of $430,000 failed to consider the decrease in aesthetic value that the scenic ranch in the Texas Hill Country would incur from the power line installation.
East Texas Residential Property $454,000
Potts Law Firm attorneys negotiated on behalf of a residential property owner whose East Texas land was taken by the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) to make way for new road construction. TxDOT's original offer of $31,343 did not consider damages that the remaining land would incur from the new road build.
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.
Commercial Property Dispute Confidential Settlement
Potts Law Firm attorneys negotiated on behalf of a South Texas commercial property owner whose land was taken by a private oil and gas pipeline company. Our eminent domain attorney utilized his past experience of working for the condemner to negotiate on behalf of his client.
Texas Residential Property $146,000
Potts Law Firm attorneys negotiated on behalf of an East Texas residential property owner whose land was taken by a Texas condemnation authority. The original offer of $113,677 did not consider other reasonable comparable sales in the area.