Eminent domain and inverse condemnation
Eminent domain and inverse condemnation are two sides of the same coin. Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private property for public use, which is predicated upon the just compensation of the aggrieved landowner. The right to just compensation is preserved in the United State Constitution. The Constitution also provides that the government may only take private property if it will be put to public use, but a number of court cases have interpreted the scope of “public use” very loosely. In practice, there is little ground to defeat an action to condemn property under the power of eminent domain. Most litigation surrounding this type of action regards the value the government must pay for the taking.
If the government takes, damages, or places such onerous restrictions on the use of private property that it constitutes a taking, without first obtaining a court order to condemn the property or without paying just compensation, the landowner may bring an action for inverse condemnation. The landowner will argue that the governmental action affects his or her property to such an extent that it constitutes a taking and can thus demand just compensation. In most inverse condemnation actions, the “taking” complained of is not the loss of possession of the property to the government. An action will typically involve a claim that the government has obtained some interest in, damaged, or placed unreasonable restrictions on the landowner’s property. For instance, if a rural Michigan county is building a small airport, and the zoning board reclassifies property as an airport safety zone, foreclosing any development, the owners of the property located in the zone could file a complaint that their property had been taken by the government without just compensation. The process of creating the safety zone should have been accomplished by filing an action for condemnation through power of eminent domain, but in the absent the appropriate proceedings, the landowner would be forced to file suit for inverse condemnation against the governmental unit that restricted the land use.
Whether you are fighting condemnation brought through the exercise of eminent domain, or if you need to bring an action for inverse condemnation to obtain just compensation for property already taken, the experienced Michigan property attorneys at Neumann Law Group are ready to assist and provide you expert legal advice and guidance throughout the process:
Challenging the Necessity of the Taking: First, we can evaluate whether the government's taking is genuinely necessary for the intended public use. If the government's justification is questionable, we can challenge the necessity in court, and you may be able to maintain possession of your property.
Property Valuation: If the government is justified to use eminent domain to take your property, you are entitled to fair compensation. Our attorneys and experts can help ensure that the property is accurately appraised and that you receive a fair market value for your property. We work with experts in property valuation, real estate, and other relevant fields who can provide testimony to support your case. These experts can help establish the fair market value of your property.
Negotiations: Once the value of your property is favorably established, we negotiate with the government or the condemning authority to maximize the compensation offered for your property. Our experience can secure a more favorable outcome for you. If you are required to move due to the eminent domain action, we can negotiate relocation benefits to help cover the costs associated with relocating your home or business.
If you or a loved one is facing an eminent domain claim or other uncompensated taking, please reach out to the experienced attorneys at Neumann Law Group as soon as you become aware of an eminent domain claim against your property. Early involvement will allow us to guide you through the process and help you make informed decisions regarding your rights and options. Our dedicated lawyers and staff will work diligently to protect your interests and ensure you receive fair treatment and compensation during the eminent domain and inverse condemnation process. We represent clients for Michigan real estate and property issues throughout the state, with offices in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City, as well as in Los Angeles, Boston, and New York. Call for a free consultation.