Farmersville Eminent Domain Lawyer
Pursuant to the Takings Clause of the United States Constitution’s Fifth Amendment, the government or an authorized corporation may buy your private property and use it for the greater public good whether you want them to or not. The catch, however, is that they must offer you reasonable compensation for your property.
If you received a notification from the government stating that you may lose some or all of your property by means of eminent domain, you still have legal options. You may be able to contest the government’s offer if they refuse to provide you with fair compensation. Compensation must be paid for the property actually taken, and, in the right cases, damage that the taking does to the remainder of the land.
A Farmersville eminent domain lawyer could help safeguard your legal rights throughout the eminent domain process and work to get you fair compensation for your land. The sooner you speak to a qualified attorney, the sooner they could start working to protect your rights.
What Is Just Compensation?
The concept of fair and just compensation arises in both the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as in the Texas State Constitution. “Fair and just compensation” is an amount of money that fully compensates a landowner for the price of their land, as well as for any loss in their land’s value. Ideally, the compensation should place the landowner back in the same position they were in had the government never taken their land.
Defining Public Use for Eminent Domain
In addition to offering you reasonable compensation for your property, the government must use your private land for a public purpose in order to legally take it through eminent domain. Land may qualify as “public use” if it benefits the State or a political subdivision of the state, such as a city, county, or municipality.
In some instances, the government may take private property in order to build a public facility or improve projects, including:
- Drainage and pipeline projects
- Gas, water, and sewer systems
- Shopping centers
- Stadiums and arenas
- Power lines
- Hospitals, cemeteries, and libraries
- Public parks
The government and other authorized entities may use eminent domain proceedings for public highways as well. A skilled eminent domain attorney could explain how the roadway improvements along Highway 78 and 380 could affect an individual property owner in Farmersville.
Legal Proceedings in Farmersville
If the government or a corporate buyer cannot agree with a landowner on a reasonable purchase price, the government may file a condemnation proceeding with the court. The court would then appoint a panel of three commissioners to decide the land’s fair value. Commissioners may not decide legal issues, such as whether the government’s proposed use is in fact a public use.
If either the governmental/corporate buyer or the landowner disputes the commissioners’ decision, they may file an appeal with the court. An appeal proceeding may take the form of either a bench trial where a judge decides the outcome or a jury trial where a jury decides the outcome.
A judge may also consider legal challenges, including the appropriateness of the proposed condemnation and whether the property in question would truly be used for a public purpose as opposed to private interest. A dedicated eminent domain lawyer in Farmersville could represent a landowner at all commissioner hearings and other legal proceedings, including those which occur in the courtroom.
Talk to a Farmersville Eminent Domain Attorney Today
The improvements on Highway 78 and Highway 380, among many other similar government construction projects, could be beneficial to the public but detrimental for you. If the government or another authorized authority has notified you about purchasing your property through eminent domain, it is crucial that you fully understand all your legal rights.
A Farmersville eminent domain lawyer could go over your rights, present your options, and help you make an informed legal decision. Our attorneys and staff could help you pursue fair compensation for your property, so call our firm as soon as possible to learn about your legal options.