Does an entity with eminent domain authority want to use your land? Many landowners are unsure of what to do after they’ve been notified that their land will be taken to complete a public use project. If you’re a Texas landowner facing this situation, take the following advice. For the best possible outcome, hire a Texas eminent domain attorney as soon as possible. Don’t negotiate with the condemning authority in Texas without an attorney!
As a Texas property owner, you are well within your rights to negotiate with the condemning authority on your own without a Texas eminent domain lawyer representing you. However, this could be a big mistake. If you aren’t familiar with the state’s eminent domain laws — and most people aren’t- an experienced lawyer can protect your rights. They can help you avoid any mistakes that could prevent you from getting the full value of your land.
Do You Need an Eminent Domain Attorney to Negotiate With The Condemning Authority in Texas? Ask Yourself These Questions.
The government and other entities with eminent domain authority in Texas are experts when it comes to taking property from private citizens and businesses in Texas. They have teams of right of way agents, lawyers and appraisers working for them. Most Texas landowners have zero experience with the condemnation process. Before you decide to go it alone, ask yourself these questions:
- Only an entity with eminent domain authority can seize your property. Do you know how to determine if the entity wanting to take your land really has the authority to do so?
- The Constitution guarantees you “just” compensation for your property. What does that actually mean? What is the dollar amount? How do they determine that amount? Do you know how to determine this amount consistent with the laws of the State regarding eminent domain?
- The entity wanting your land says your land is only worth X amount. You know that it’s worth more. How do you go about demonstrating this?
- The entity only wants to use part of your land for an easement. What steps do you take to ensure they don’t damage the rest of your land?
- The entity only wants to use your property for a limited amount of time. How do you make sure they clean up their mess and restore your property to its original condition?
Don’t know the answers to these questions? We urge you to reach out to a Texas eminent domain attorney before you have any discussions or make any agreements with the entity wanting to take your land. Even if you do know the answers to these questions, there could be many other questions you need answered before you sign any paperwork with the condemning entity.
Answers to Your Questions about Eminent Domain in Texas
Just compensation is the current fair market value for a piece of property. The owner of a property being targeted for eminent domain is entitled to the same amount of money they would receive if they placed the property on the open market.
Read more about determining just and adequate compensation in a Texas eminent domain action.
Both the Texas and United States Constitutions grant the right of eminent domain, but several requirements must be met before a private landowner is required to give up their land. While these requirements are often difficult to fight in court, in rare cases it is possible.
Read more about preventing land from being taken by eminent domain.
The United States Constitution and the Texas State Constitution give the government the power of eminent domain, as well as other entities to whom those governments delegate this power for acquiring land for a public use.
Federal, state, county and municipal governments have eminent domain authority, as well as water districts and school districts. Public utility companies have also been allowed to use eminent domain to obtain private property for power lines, pipelines, transformers, etc.
Read more about who has eminent domain authority.
Highlighted Case Result: $44,955 vs $873,824 in Compensation
The Texas eminent domain attorneys at Dawson & Sodd have been protecting the rights of Texas landowners for over a century. We’ve seen first-hand how the government and others try to lowball property owners into accepting a deal that doesn’t fully compensate them for their land.
In a recent case, an energy company offered our client $44,955 for damages to their property caused by a pipeline easement. We were able to show a jury that the company’s natural gas pipeline easement across the landowners’ undeveloped property diminished the land value and limited what the family could do with their land in the future. The jury ended up awarding our clients a total of $873,824 in compensation.
We can’t guarantee that kind of return in your case. However, it does demonstrate the real value of hiring a Texas eminent domain attorney to represent you during the condemnation process.
We Can Help You Negotiate With The Condemning Authority
If you’ve received notice that your property is facing condemnation, contact the law offices of Dawson & Sodd without delay. Schedule a free consultation meeting with one of our Texas eminent domain attorneys. Our law firm focuses on guiding Texas property owners through the condemnation process. We are eager to discuss your situation, answer any questions you may have and provide helpful legal advice on how best to proceed with your case. Call us today at 903-872-8181 (Corsicana) or 214-373-8181 (Dallas).
If one of your worries is about the upfront costs of hiring one of the top eminent domain law firms in Texas, don’t be. We handle most condemnation cases on a contingency basis. This means there are no attorney fees unless we win your case and get you compensation. There is certainly no fee for calling us and letting us answer your questions!