If you’ve never heard of condemnation and eminent domain before, you’re not alone. Eminent domain and condemnation are legal terms that most people have never encountered until they need help. Condemnation and eminent domain refer to the power of the government to take private property for public use. This can be a confusing process, so if you’re faced with a situation in which eminent domain is being used against you, it’s important to consider the help of an experienced attorney.  

What Is Eminent Domain?

Eminent domain refers to the power of the government, municipality, or utility company to take private property for public use, for example when the government takes land to build a new road. An amendment to the United States Constitution allows the government to do this, but only if the government pays “just compensation” to the owner from whom it is taking the property.

Why Hire a Condemnation and Eminent Domain Attorney in Houston, TX?

If you’re on the receiving end of a case of eminent domain, it may be in your interest to hire an eminent domain attorney.

An eminent domain attorney can help you:

  • Understand the process and your rights
  • Determine the full amount of your just compensation
  • Negotiate with the condemning authority
  • File a lawsuit, if necessary
  • Present your evidence following the proper rules and meeting the appropriate deadlines

When Is Eminent Domain Used?

There are several reasons why the government may seize your property for public use. Some common reasons for eminent domain include:

  • Building roads and infrastructure
  • Constructing public buildings, such as schools
  • Creating parks or other recreational areas
  • Developing land for commercial purposes

In addition, some businesses can use the government’s power of eminent domain if the purpose is a public benefit.  For instance, a natural gas company might be able to condemn land for a new pipeline to transport gas to customers, benefiting the public.

Are You Entitled to Just Compensation?

In general, just compensation is the dollar total of the fair market value of the property taken plus the lessened value of any of the landowner’s remaining property affected by the taking. If your property is about to be taken by the government or a private company, consider contacting a condemnation attorney immediately. An experienced attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and advise you about getting full, just compensation.