We use highways, parks and other public buildings regularly without any thought as to how they come about. However, there is a chance that the highway you take to work every day was once private property that the government took for public use. This is called “condemnation,” and it happens when the government exercises eminent domain rights to seize private property for public use. Fort Worth eminent domain attorneys fight for property owners’ right to fair and just compensation, and sometimes are able to fight condemnation.
In order to seize private property, the government must be condemning it for public use. Even though the government is able to use eminent domain to seize private property, there are laws that must be followed.
Public Use Examples for Condemnation
If the government wants to condemn your property, they must be planning to put it to public use. Some examples of eminent domain public uses are:
- Public highways
- Public parks
- Police stations
- Public libraries
- Public transportation buildings
- Public highways
- Utilities such as oil, gas and water pipelines
- Drainage infrastructures
- Sport venues
When the government invokes eminent domain rights on private property, they are required by the United States and Texas Constitutions to provide fair and just compensation for the property. The landowner must be compensated in full for property damaged, destroyed or taken under condemnation. Often times, the amount offered for private property from the government is not as much as the landowner feels their property is worth.
Answers to Your Texas Eminent Domain Questions
In general, government entities have the right to take property through eminent domain. This includes federal, state, county and municipal governments, as well as water districts and school districts. In many cases, public utilities can also use private property for power lines, pipelines and other ‘public uses’ projects.
In some cases, you may be able to. If the condemning authority lacks the power of eminent domain or has failed to comply with legal requirements in attempting to take the property, you may be able to fight the eminent domain action. Or if the taking is not for a “public use” or not a public necessity.
However, these are often difficult claims. An experienced Fort Worth eminent domain attorney can best determine potential methods of preventing the Condemnor’s taking.
There can definitely be harm in going into an eminent domain negotiation without at least consulting an attorney familiar with these types of transaction. Condemnation rules are incredibly complex. Any missteps in the negotiation can seriously affect your ultimate recovery.
At Dawson & Sodd, we’ve spoken to many Texas landowners who have unfortunately called us when it is too late to fix a situation that could easily have been avoided with a little good advice before they spoke to the Condemnor.
Getting Help From Condemnation Lawyers who Do Work in Fort Worth
It is normal for the government to make unfair offers for your property, not fair compensation offers. It is important to know you do not have to accept the government’s offer if you feel it is not fair. If you do not believe the government intends to use the property for public use, you may also contest it.
Eminent domain and condemnation involve many complicated laws. It is best to have help from condemnation lawyers who work in Fort Worth to guide you through your case. Whether you feel you are not being fairly compensated for your property, or believe your property is not being taken legally for a public use, consult an experienced lawyer. Representation from a knowledgeable Fort Worth eminent domain attorneys, such as an attorney from Dawson & Sodd, who routinely handle cases in this area, for assisting with the process of obtaining a positive result in your case.
Texas Eminent Domain Attorneys Highlighted Case Result
In 2011, Texas Midstream sued family-owned Land Rover, Ltd. to condemn two permanent pipeline easements and two temporary construction easements for a high pressure gas pipeline from two non-contiguous commercial properties in West Fort Worth that had been owned by the family partnership since 1990.
Frustrated by a low final offer, Land Rover, Ltd. and attorney Tyler Milton, a partner with Dawson & Sodd, LLP, decided to take fight the case to trial.
Texas Midstream’s original offer was $154,700. At the trial’s conclusion, six jurors unanimously awarded the family partnership $1.28 million dollars, 8.27 times the original offer. The net recovery to the landowner, after attorney fees and trial and litigation expenses, was $1 million (inclusive of the Special Commissioners’ Award).
Meet With Our Fort Worth Eminent Domain Attorneys
Dawson & Sodd has years of experience in representing landowners in their condemnation and eminent domain cases. We only represent landowners, never the government, and have been helping Texas landowners fight condemnation for over 35 years. Our condemnation lawyers in Fort Worth ensure your property is being properly seized and you are fully compensated.
Call 903-872-8181 (Corsicana) or 214-373-8181 (Dallas), or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation for your eminent domain case. You can also find more information on our Frequently Asked Questions and Condemnation Basics pages.