Eminent Domain is the right of government
to take your property for the common
Eminent Domain Information.com opposes the use of Condemnation in taking your property. We believe that every property owner should have the right to control their property. Until such time that legislators and the courts can rectify this abuse of power we are all faced with what to do during an Eminent Domain action.
Eminent Domain Information.com has assisted hundreds of property owners through this maze created by government. You may need legal counsel, but you can help yourself dramatically by understanding the process. Eminent Domain Information.com offers you a number of Eminent Domain Packages that will guide you step-by-step through the process as a Property Owner or as a Tenant. Our purpose is to take the fear out of Eminent Domain, and replace it with the knowledge necessary for you to successfully receive Just Compensation.
COMMON GOOD and JUST COMPENSATION
These two terms are commonly used in every Eminent Domain action. What is the COMMON GOOD? Government has decided that your property is critical to a project that will serve everyone “The Common Good”. Why is your property being taken and your neighbors ignored? Why is government taking a portion of your property and not the whole thing? JUST COMPENSATION is the basic right of every property owner to receive fair market value for their property. Fair Market Value (FMV) is the price a ready, willing, and able buyer would pay for your property (Free Market). Governmental Agencies utilizing Eminent Domain establishes this Fair Market Value by hiring appraisers and then directing them to appraise your property utilizing government guidelines. The Agencies' appraisal process creates a value that is NOT based on a ready, willing, and able buyer interacting with a ready, willing, and able seller creating an ARMS LENGTH SALE. The taking of your property by Eminent Domain is not an ARMS LENGTH SALE!!!
Your Rights in Eminent Domain at the Federal level are found in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It states ". . . No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without JUST COMPENSATION." The Fourteenth Amendment, added later, extends the concept to state governments: ". . . nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law." Many projects contain some Federal Money. Why is this important? If there is Federal money in a project there may be cause to use Federal Acquisition Guidelines to defend your case. This broadens your ability to be successful in achieving JUST COMPENSATION.
What should you expect and demand?
- Full Disclosure of all the reasons why the project is necessary.
- The right to hire your own appraiser to establish a Fair Market Value (FMV) without government’s restrictive instructions.
- The right to challenge the agency's value in a court of law.
- The right to legal counsel.
- The right to prove damages to your property as a result of the project.
Eminent Domain/Condemnation is a confrontational process. Government is taking your property! You must have a complete record of every meeting, phone call, and all the material you receive to defend yourself and the value of your property. If you decide that legal counsel is necessary this record will be very valuable. You will need to:
- Purchase a hand held recorder and record every conversation. This recording is being done to assist you in remembering the volume of material involved in your case. Always inform the party that they are being recorded. If they object, simply record their name and the reason why they object to being recorded.
- Start a file where every piece of material you receive can be saved. Organizing your thoughts is critical. Mark each piece with the date and time you received it, as well as the name of the person delivering it.
- Make a written record of every discussion. Record the person's name, titles, and the purpose of the meeting/discussion. Record whether the people are employees of the Agency taking your property, or a Consultant hired by the Agency.
- Get the purpose of their contact, their telephone numbers, the date and time of their call, and addresses of their offices.
- Print copies of all emails and letters and place them in your file.
What is government taking:
You're Eminent Domain case will be explained in detail within one of our three primary packages:
Place your curser on the package title for explanation.
- Total Take A Total Take occurs when government takes your ENTIRE property in an Eminent Domain action. You must concern yourself with the appraisal written by the Agency and the value being offered for your property, the relocation of your family to another home, and receiving all your rights under the law. Eminent Domain Information.com offers a complete package covering all the information you will need to defend your home’s value! - Government takes your entire property ?
- Partial Take A Partial Take occurs when government takes A PART of your property in an Eminent Domain action. The offer for your property will be based on an appraisal paid for by government. We caution you the real exposure is the effect the partial taking will have on the balance of your property. The action could result in damage to the residue (the balance of your property). Eminent Domain Information.com offers a complete package covering all the information you will need to defend your home’s value and the effect on the residue (the balance of your property). - Government takes a portion of your property ?
- Tenant Rights Tenants are often the forgotten group in an Eminent Domain action. Eminent Domain is always thought of in terms of the Property Owner and their loss of real estate. The rights of the Tenant residing in property (Tenant Rights) are protected under the law. Our Tenant Rights Package addresses your rights as the tenant of a property being taken in an Eminent Domain action. - Your rights as a tenant in an Eminent Domain case ?
Each of our Property Owner Packages contains the following Examples and Explanations you will need to understand your Eminent Domain case:
Additional forms and explanations that may be required:
(Place your cursor on the package title for explanation.)
- Mortgage release and ExplanationYour bank releases any financial interest in your Eminent Domain Award.
- Right of Entry Form and ExplanationGovernment trying to get your permission to enter your property before the settlement of your case.
- Bill of Sale Owner and ExplanationItems on your property being bought by Government such as buildings or improvements. Examples would be storage buildings, fences, flagpoles, etc.
- Bill of Sale Tenant and ExplanationItems owned by the Tenant of the property being bought by Government such as buildings or improvements.
- Affidavit by Seller and ExplanationThis form guarantees that you have not made any Deed changes after going into contract with the Agency.
- Permanent Easement for Highway Purposes and ExplanationThis easement is used to secure a portion of your property by the Agency on a permanent basis.
- Temporary Right of Way Agreement and ExplanationThis easement is used to secure a portion of your property by the Agency for a temporary period of time.
- Agreement for Removal of Improvements and ExplanationAn item bought by the Agency then sold back to the owner needs to be removed.
- Agreement for Removal of Buildings and ExplanationA building bought by the Agency is purchased back by the owner and then moved.
- Estimate of Salvage Value of Structure and ExplanationThis easement is used to establish the value (Salvage Value) of a structure being removed as a part of a Eminent Domain taking.
- Aviation Easement and ExplanationThis easement is used to acquire the air rights over your property necessary for aircraft operation.
- Channel Easement and ExplanationThis easement is used to acquire the right to construct and maintain, a perpetual watercourse on your property.
- Slope Easement and ExplanationThis easement is used to construct and maintain the slopes for drainage and access to your property.
- Sewer EasementThis easement is used to acquire the right to construct and maintain a sewer outside regular highway rights of way.
- Flowage EasementThis easement is used to acquire the perpetual right to cause water to flow over a described area.
- Public Utility EasementThis easement is most often utilized to acquire a public utility easement in the name of a railroad or public utility.
- Scenic EasementThis easement is used to acquire the right to preserve the use and development of an area adjacent to the highway.
- Lease Agreement and ExplanationThere are occasions where the Agency taking your property by Eminent Domain may require a portion of your property on a temporary basis.
- Letter of Assignment for Acquisition of Payment and Explanation (free)
Do I need an Attorney or Appraiser?
**We want to stress that these cases can last for years.
The more detailed you are the better your defense will be!!