When Your Land is Taken

It may start quietly. You receive a letter in the mail informing you that the state or city needs your land for a “public use” such as a highway, public building or housing development project. There may even be an offer of a financial settlement. To the uninitiated, it appears that you have no choice, no say in the matter.

While the state may have the power to take your property, it does not have the power to make you accept an unfair price for your land. The Constitutions of United States and most states guarantee just compensation when private property is taken or damaged by government action. You may be entitled to recover compensation for:

  • Value of the land;
  • Loss in value to the remaining portion of your land if only part is taken;
  • Value of buildings, equipment and improvements installed on the land;
  • Value of any lease interests;
  • Relocation benefits;
  • Interest on any delayed payments;

But “fighting city hall” can be difficult. It is rare that an eminent domain case is settled without a jury trial. That’s why the services of an experienced eminent domain law firm like McLaughlin Brothers are essential.