Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing
Those who know what eminent domain is might be scared or confused as to why our government would have the ability to seize our land without our consent. It sounds very counterintuitive to the government that we have established. However there are several precautions put in place to prevent eminent domain abuse.
One of the most important facets of eminent domain is that the government must provide just payment to those owners whom they have seized the land from. This means that after an appraisal is done the government offers a valuation to the private property owner. Here the owner has two options, take or negotiate.
Negotiation is a strong option for property owners because they are the ones who have a stronger case. If they can prove that their property is worth more or if they feel that it is worth more than can typically get up to 150% of their property valuation.
The ability to negotiate gives private property owners the time and capital necessary to relocate their lives and find a new home elsewhere but sometimes it fails.
If that is the case then, the negotiation goes into a condemnation suit where a jury will get to decide the price that is deserved. In this suit, both sides present their case with the witness if they wish and then the jury factors each side’s case into their final settlement.
The second protocol that is put into place to ensure that eminent domain is used property is the caveat of public use. The government must show that the land will directly have some benefit on the overall public welfare of the surrounding area.
This could be projects such as building schools or roads or even preserving historical landmarks. Public use can get blurry however, because it can also be justified by getting private developers to provide evidence for public use.
This means that the government could potentially sell your land to private developers under the guise of eminent domain. If this is the case you might have a case in court where you can protest eminent domain and get to keep your land as well.
It is important to understand that if you feel taken advantage of or that you are the victim that there is a way to combat injustice. You can use the proper legal systems to protect your property and your right to own it.
Source: Dallas & Turner, PLLC
About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on Linked