It’s an obvious thing to say, but here it is: when you purchase or inherit real estate, the property is then yours; no one can simply take it from you. But “simply” is the key word here.

Eminent domain is a reality, and governments can use this power to take property from private landowners if the taking is for public use. What’s more: there are legal precedents for allowing private entities — for example, oil and gas companies — to use the power of eminent domain.

If you have been notified that the government or a private entity plans to use eminent domain to take any of your land, the law requires that you be paid fair compensation for your property.

When it comes to condemnation and eminent domain, the meaning of “fair” is frequently a point of contention. In many cases, competing appraisals — the government’s and the landowner’s — yield drastically different numbers. Moreover, the government will use its legal resources to achieve its goals, so landowners facing eminent domain also need aggressive legal representation.

Choose a legal team with experience on both sides of eminent domain disputes.

The attorneys of Johnson Hobbs Squires LLP have successfully represented landowners and oil and gas companies in eminent domain matters. We fully understand what each side has to gain or lose, and we can anticipate the other side’s next moves.

We also have extensive professional resources, including appraisers and real estate experts, that we use to protect landowners’ rights and help them get full and fair compensation for their property.

It should also be noted that condemnation of the property is not a foregone conclusion. In some cases, it is possible to show that eminent domain is inappropriate because the project is not really for public use.

To learn more, please see our overview of eminent domain and condemnation.

You may also be interested in our previous post on mineral rights ownership.