What Is Eminent Domain And Condemnation?

Growing cities and utility companies often expand and improve services and increase geographic boundaries; for example, population demands require new infrastructure, like the expansion of sewer lines, more accessible roadways or other necessary public facilities. To install additional power lines or build a new highway, the government may invoke the power of eminent domain and condemnation. This process may let the government secure use of your private property for public improvement projects.

We regularly represent clients in eminent domain cases — both from the landowner's perspective and also for the condemning authority. If you have received an eminent domain notice and are unsure about how to proceed, contact our law firm to learn about your rights. We can assist you with protecting your property by presenting the best arguments and evidence for the value of any eminent domain takeover.

Will I Automatically Lose My Property?

Under eminent domain laws, the government cannot simply seize your land for public use without following proper processes. When your property is necessary for city expansion projects, or another governmental or quasi-governmental project, you have the right to fair compensation. Property owners may also choose to protest the proposed use of their property in an attempt to avoid a forced sale.

Generally, the procedure will look something like this:

  1. The governmental agency decides there is a need to take the property of private citizens for a public use and determines the area or route involved.
  2. The governmental agency then enlists the help of property acquisition specialists and appraisers to identify and value your property.
  3. You will be made an offer and if you agree, they will pay for your land and/or other rights or property taken.
  4. If you contest, your case will move to condemnation proceedings.
  5. During this, you will be allowed to propose your own value for your property, initially through an administrative condemnation proceeding and then potentially in a trial setting before a court with competent jurisdiction.
  6. Condemnation proceedings continue until an agreement or settlement can be reached or the case is ultimately resolved through a trial before a judge or jury.

Because of the uniqueness of every situation and the complexity of Texas eminent domain laws, it is in your best interest to contact the attorneys of Kelsey, Kelsey & Hickey, PLLC, without delay. Our lawyers are highly experienced with many types of property and real estate issues.

Who Can Help Me Dispute This?

Before the condemnation process can begin, you will receive a notice of intent, which states why the government wants your property and how they will use it. If you do not consent to the purchase of your land or the proposed use of it, you can make a dispute. We can help.

Call our office in Denton at 940-387-9551 today or reach out with an online message to see how our attorneys can help protect your ownership rights. We can help you seek satisfactory compensation for your property.