Articles Tagged with eminent domain

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

Books stacked on a desk with a lawyer's gravel.Pre- judgement interests are accrued interest on judgement amounts. Eminent domain is when the government “takes” private property for the public’s use and then owes fair and just compensation to the original private property owners. An eminent domain award is the court-ordered judgment amount that is based on the fair market value of the property owed to the private property owner. 

Generally speaking, eminent domain awards must be paid out to the private property owner before a property’s title can be transferred or the government can take physical possession of the property. Read on to understand what both pre-judgment interests are and eminent domain awards contain.

What is a pre-judgement interest?

Image of Gavel, and Constitution for blog image. ​​Can a property owner sue for inverse condemnation when the government refuses to permit development? Underwood Law Firm, P.C.In certain situations, it is possible for a property owner to sue the government for inverse condemnation when the government refuses to permit development, and that refusal results in a “taking” under the United States constitution. 

If the city, state, or federal government refuses to permit development, it must take away all or substantially all the reasonable use of the property in order to form the legal basis for an inverse condemnation lawsuit. Then, the basis for inverse condemnation is formed on the basis of the government’s refusal to permit development and this can be a powerful legal remedy for property owners.

The lack of reasonable use of the property is viewed with consideration of all of the impact on the personal land owner’s land, in order to substantiate an inverse condemnation claim against the government. 

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