Most people are vaguely aware of the concept that the government can seize private land for public use. There’s a big difference, however, in knowing what it is, and knowing how it affects your life. When you face the prospect of losing property due to governmental interference, you want to understand the process, how it works, and what if anything you can do to fight it. Read an overview of eminent domain, what it means for you, and how a qualified North Carolina and South Carolina attorney can help.
An Overview of Eminent Domain
Eminent domain refers to the federal or state government’s power to seize private property to use for public purposes, regardless of the property owner’s desires. This power was granted by the Fifth Amendment, which also requires that the government justly compensates the property owner for the property that is taken. This process has other names as well, including condemnation and expropriation.
What Constitutes “Public Use?”
The definition of “public use,” is probably more fluid than it should be, but it generally means any use that is sanctioned by a legislative body for the benefit of all. Some examples of seizing property for public use include creating parks, roads, schools, reservoirs, hospitals and other public buildings and facilities.
What Is “Just Compensation”
In general, “just compensation” refers to the government’s requirement to pay you a fair price for the property taken. This fair price is supposed to be based on the market value of the home. Sometimes, however, the government evaluates the true worth of a property at far less than its market value would otherwise indicate. This is often where challenges to the taking of the property come in.
Carolina Condemnation Attorneys
Many people feel helpless and alone when the government comes in to take their property. Know that when this happens, as with every other area of the law, you are entitled to legal representation to make sure your rights are protected. You may not be able to save your property, but you can ensure that you get all of the legal compensation to which you are entitled.
Many people think that they don’t have any choice but to accept whatever the government offers, and move on. This isn’t always the case. You can be compensated for damage to your property before the expropriation occurs, you can fight for higher just compensation, for life tenant payments, and more. This requires knowledgeable, expert representation, however, and that’s where a Carolina condemnation attorney comes into play.
The laws surrounding government seizure of property are broad and complex, and it requires someone who specializes in the ins and outs of the process to make sure that your rights are defended every step of the way. If you are facing eminent domain seizure of your property, read a bit more about the compensation to which you may be entitled, and call us for a consultation regarding your case today!