Understanding Eminent Domain

It’s hard to believe that there is an actual part of the United States constitution that allows the government to take your land, but it’s in there. You, you read that correctly – the government is allowed to take private property and put it to public use through eminent domain. What counts as public use? Constructing roads and freeways, municipal buildings and schools, and preservation of historic sites are a few such categories. Additionally, private use categories that benefit the public include railroads, utilities, and renovation of otherwise blighted sites.

Keep in mind that this does not mean that the government can’t take your land for free. They could, however, only take certain parcels of it. The law requires payment at the current market value. That being said, that doesn’t mean that the government is going to give you their best offer so be prepared.  How? By not settling on the first offer.  In addition, you should consider hiring an attorney experienced in eminent domain cases who can assist you in getting the best deal available.

Knowledge is a powerful thing when understanding eminent domain claims. Learn more about the rights that you have when it comes to eminent domain in the visual deep dive below:

eminent domain infographic
Source: Dallas & Turner, PLLC