The Process of Eminent Domain in McKinney
In some cases, the government or an authorized corporation may seek to seize your private property for public use. In the process, the land or property in question undergoes appraisal, after which the governmental entity or company offers you money to buy the property.
Although the buyer is legally mandated to offer fair and reasonable compensation to acquire your land, they do so infrequently. If you feel that the governmental entity or company is not offering you fair compensation for your land, you should contact an experienced eminent domain lawyer today. An attorney could fully explain the process of eminent domain in McKinney and help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Bona Fide Offer and Negotiations
Before beginning the eminent domain process in McKinney, the governmental entity asserting eminent domain must make a reasonable offer to purchase the property from the landowner. In order for the offer to be “bona fide,” the following must occur:
- The company or governmental entity must present an initial offer in writing to purchase the property
- A certified appraiser must appraise the value of the subject property
- The company or governmental entity must make a final offer, in writing, which exceeds the amount shown on the appraisal report
In addition, there must be a period of at least 30 days between the time of the initial written offer and the final written offer. Before filing a condemnation proceeding, the landowner must have a minimum of 14 days to respond to the buyer’s final offer. If the parties agree to the land sale at this point, there is no need for eminent domain proceedings.
Filing a Condemnation Petition
If the parties cannot agree on a purchase price, the buyer may sue the landowner. The company or governmental entity must file their petition in the district court, or in the county court for the county where the subject property is located.
The buyer’s petition must include a property description, the relevant public use claimed, and the property owner’s name. The petition must also state that the parties could not agree on a settlement amount and that the buyer made the landowner a bona fide offer.
Once the buyer has filed their petition, a judge will appoint three special commissioners, all of whom are local landowners, to determine the compensation amount by way of a legal hearing.
Following the hearing, the commissioners will issue an award, stating the amount of compensation the company or governmental entity must pay the landowner for an easement. The company or governmental entity can then possess the property.
If either side is unhappy with the commissioners’ award, they may file an objection with the court. At that juncture, the court will set a trial by judge or jury. The court may also consider whether or not the company or governmental entity’s proposed public use is legitimate.
Contact an Attorney about the Eminent Domain Process in McKinney
The eminent domain process in McKinney is a detailed, multi-step process. Consequently, if you are facing condemnation proceedings, you should consider calling an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer could explain the process of eminent domain and represent you at every step of the legal process.