Articles Tagged with eminent domain action

Underwood-Blog-Images-1-300x300Not all eminent domain proceedings involve the government taking an entire piece of property. If the property is large enough and the government’s project is limited in scope (expanding a road, for instance), then the government can instead opt for a “partial” taking of the property.

Despite this difference, partial takings are nonetheless subject to the requirement of just compensation for property owners. And in addition, property owners may be entitled to special damages if the government project diminishes the fair market value of the rest of the property.

Eminent domain is, however, one of the more difficult fields to navigate in litigation. This is in no small part due to the many evidentiary hurdles in place that make proving the right amount of just compensation a timely and expensive process. At Underwood Law Firm, our attorneys are more than familiar with overcoming these evidentiary roadblocks and are ready to help assist you with your litigation efforts.

Underwood-Blog-Images-4-300x300Eminent Domain proceedings will almost always end with the government taking title to private property after it pays out “just compensation” to a homeowner.

But sometimes, the government begins condemnation proceedings against the backdrop of a large project with encroaching deadlines. In these instances, California law allows the entity to obtain possession of the property early on in the condemnation process, granting the government the ability to begin its work sooner rather than later.

That said, there are numerous requirements that the government must fulfill in order to obtain pre-judgment possession. And even when the government meets its burden, defendant property owners can still oppose early possession by meeting various showings of hardship.

Underwood-Blog-Images-1-2-300x300A pre-condemnation offer is a formal offer based on an appraisal that the government needs to offer a property owner prior to filing a condemnation claim in court. Condemnation is the special word given to eminent domain actions and should not be confused with the condemnation that is associated with those actions taken by the government against properties that pose health risks and other hazards to the public.

The pre-condemnation offer is incredibly important, and the government’s failure to comply with the strict statutory guidelines in place can result in massive expenses during a condemnation hearing. The Underwood Law Firm is familiar with Eminent Domain disputes over property values and is more than capable of assisting you from the appraisal phase to a condemnation trial.

What is Eminent Domain?

Underwood-Blog-Images-300x300A temporary construction easement (TCE) is a specialized form of easement that a public agency frequently uses as part of an eminent domain project when it “seeks to obtain exclusive possession of a portion of the property for a significant, albeit temporary, period of time.” (Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court (2016) 1 Cal.5th 151, 199.) 

This post will seek to address those issues which commonly arrive in connection with TCE’s and how they may affect you. 

What is an Easement?

A lawyer holding her gravel with documents on her desks and beside her is someone holding lots of money.
Yes. But it is a complex affair. Eminent Domain proceedings take on a unique structure with expert testimony as the backbone for the determination of fair market value. Neither side of the litigation has the burden of proof on this issue of just compensation, and unlike the traditional civil court case, the Defendant presents their evidence first. (Code. Civ. Proc. § 1260.210.)

Additionally, judges will often place limits on what a homeowner may testify to and can screen the witness beforehand to ensure that they’ll be employing a valid methodology on the stand. Taken as a whole, the process can be quite daunting to the layperson. This post will therefore look to the common issues and questions which arise regarding testimony in eminent domain.

The Importance of Testimony in Eminent Domain Proceedings

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