Retaining an Attorney

Posted & filed under Retaining an Attorney.

While on some occasions a property or business owner might be able to negotiate what he or she believes to be a fair price without legal representation, the reality is that in most cases, owners will obtain a significantly better overall net result (i.e., dollars in their pocket) when they are represented by competent, knowledgeable… Read more »

Compensation Paid for Improvements

Posted & filed under Just Compensation.

Owners are entitled to compensation not only for their property, but also for “improvements pertaining to realty.” These improvements can be anything from pavement and fencing to furniture and machinery, depending upon the facts of a particular case. The government is required to pay the fair market value “in place” of such improvements. Value “in… Read more »

Partial Takings

Posted & filed under Just Compensation.

Often, the government needs only a portion of a particular property, such as a strip of land needed for street widening. In those cases, just compensation is determined not only by the value of the part taken, but also by the damage to the remaining property. Such damages are called “severance damages,” i.e., damages caused… Read more »

Fair Market Value

Posted & filed under Just Compensation.

The government is required to pay the “fair market value” of the property it acquires by eminent domain. California’s Eminent Domain Law generally defines fair market value as: “The fair market value of the property taken is the highest price on the date of the valuation that would be agreed to by the seller, being… Read more »

People Entitled to Just Compensation

Posted & filed under Just Compensation.

The constitutional requirement of just compensation applies not just to the record owner of the property, but to anyone whose property interest is acquired by the government agency. For example, a business tenant on property to be acquired by eminent domain may be entitled to compensation for the value of his leasehold interest, the value… Read more »

Just Compensation

Posted & filed under Just Compensation.

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that private property may not be taken for a public use without payment of “just compensation.” Similarly, article I section 19 of the California Constitution provides that private property may not be taken or damaged by the government unless it pays “just compensation.” The items for… Read more »

The Government’s Offer…Accept?

Posted & filed under The Eminent Domain Process.

A property owner is not required to accept the condemning agency’s offer. Instead, the property owner may make a counter-offer, or may assert a higher value for his or her property once the eminent domain action is filed in court. Property owners, tenants and business owners often receive higher, and in some cases, much higher… Read more »

Understanding a “Resolution of Necessity”

Posted & filed under The Eminent Domain Process.

A “resolution of necessity” is the government agency’s formal decision to acquire property by eminent domain. It must be adopted before the condemning agency can commence an eminent domain action in court. California Code of Civil Procedure section 1245.230 provides that in order to adopt a resolution of ncessity, the government agency must find (1)… Read more »

General Steps Involved in an Eminent Domain Proceeding

Posted & filed under The Eminent Domain Process.

Generally, when the government wants to take your property by eminent domain, you can expect the government to take some or all of the following steps in about the following order: 1. Initial contact by government agency to express interest in the property and/or scheduling date for appraisal or environmental assessment of the property; 2…. Read more »