Eminent Domain or Condemnation
What is eminent domain?
Condemnation involves the use of eminent domain to acquire property rights through the court system. Eminent domain originates in English common law and is the power to take private property for public use by the government or a utility. It can be legislatively delegated by the state to municipalities, government subdivisions, or even private persons or corporations when they are authorized to exercise functions of public character.
Federal, state, and local governments may take private property through their power of eminent domain or they may regulate it by exercising their police power. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires the government to provide just compensation to the owner of the private property that is to be taken. A variety of property rights are subject to eminent domain, such as air, water, and land rights.
The government takes private property through condemnation proceedings, which is the formal process of transferring the title to the property from private ownership to the governmental entity. Throughout these proceedings, the property owner has the right of due process.
Condemnation via eminent domain indicates that the government is taking ownership of the property. After the condemnation action is filed, the amount of just compensation is determined in the litigation process, possibly resulting in a trial by jury.
Prior to instituting condemnation litigation, the government is required to offer to purchase the property rights it seeks. When the government makes an offer, you have the choice to accept or decline the offer. Declining the offer does not mean that you are entitled to keep your property; the government can still force the taking. Legal representation by an experienced attorney in eminent domain can help you decide whether the offer is just and fair, and can help ensure that you obtain appropriate compensation for the property rights taken.
Having over 20 years of experience working with condemnation and eminent domain law in Northeast Georgia, Beck, Zwald & Associates, LLC can offer you an experienced real estate attorney who is dedicated to protecting your real estate interests. Whether you are seeking to come to a resolution via negotiation with the proper authorities, or have determined that you want to take your matter to court, the legal counsel at Beck, Zwald & Associates, LLC can offer the expertise and guidance needed to ensure the protection of your property. In some instances, it is possible for a negotiation to result in changes that diminishes the intrusiveness of the condemnation of a property. In other cases, an interlocutory assessor can be used to maximize the award and get the process moving swiftly, as opposed to a potentially lengthy and expensive trial. Rest assured, the attorneys at Beck, Zwald & Associates, LLC are experienced with the various options and recourses available to you, helping ensure a resolution that is satisfactory and ensures that you are compensated justly.
If you are dealing with real estate issues involving eminent domain and condemnation in Sugar Hill, Gwinnett County, GA, or surrounding Northeast Georgia Counties contact us today. We will schedule an initial consultation, where we can go over your situation and begin discussing strategies that work for you.