Federal law allows the government to seize private property in Ohio and elsewhere if doing so would be in the public’s best interest. The power of eminent domain resides in the Fifth Amendment, and the Supreme Court is sometimes asked to make rulings in eminent domain cases. The government is required to compensate a property owner for the loss of land or the loss of a home.
However, if it can be proven that a property was being used for criminal purposes, it may be possible for the government to take it without providing any compensation. Assuming that this is not the case, the government typically owes an individual fair market value for the assets it is taking possession of. Individuals may only receive a portion of a property’s fair market value if the government only plans to keep it for a limited amount of time.
Property owners are not required to accept any offer that they receive from a government agency. They could choose to claim that the offer doesn’t adequately compensate them or that taking their land isn’t in the public interest. In many cases, land is taken to expand roads and highways in given town or city. However, land can also be seized to build a park or to remove an abandoned structure.
Those who are involved in an eminent domain case may wish to challenge any attempt to take their homes or land. An attorney may be able to assert that the government has other options available to build a highway or remove an abandoned building. It may also be possible to assert that the government’s offer for a property was less than its appraised market value. If a challenge is denied, a legal representative may help a property owner appeal that decision.