A few weeks ago on the blog we discussed the basics of eminent domain. This is a legal issue that many people don't think about until it directly affects them. Even the seemingly smallest bit of land taken by the government can have enormous ramifications, though, which is why those who are confronted with issues of eminent domain need to know the law and how to utilize it to their advantage.
Two property owners in Toledo may be in this position now. Reports indicate that the city is in the process of taking two parcels of land to create a roundabout. One of those parcels of land holds a vacant business, while another is an empty lot. An official with the city's Department of Public Utilities said that development of a pharmacy has already been approved for one of the parcels, and that the construction plans are compatible with the proposed roundabout.
Eminent domain proceedings will likely force these landowners to take the steps necessary to protect their financial interests. Depending on the circumstances at hand, one could argue that the government's taking is not for future public use, which would eliminate any eminent domain claim. Alternatively, and much more likely, property owners will have to either negotiate a fair price with the government, or take the matter to court where evidence of the land's value will be presented.
Either way, eminent domain proceedings can be complex and sometimes heated. Ohio residents need to make sure they understand the law in this area, as it is the only way to ensure that his or her rights and interests are as fully protected as possible. Far too often the government tries to take what it shouldn't have or take land without paying just compensation. This isn't right, which is why law firms like ours stand ready to fight for a fair resolution to these disputes.