If your property is included in an eminent domain parcel, it can be formidable trying to get an offer in your best interests. Though many government agencies, whether state or federal, have eminent domain authority, they cannot exercise that authority without question or challenge.
Determining a landowner’s rights
You might be overwhelmed with the prospect of countering such a massive institution as the US government. It makes sense that a landowner would immediately oppose this designation, but what recourse does a person have? Landowners must learn what circumstances could present a challenge to an eminent domain claim:
- The owner needs to receive fair notice from the government. They deserve enough time after receiving the notice to react and organize a response.
- That person also has the right to a fair hearing before finalizing compensation.
- A landowner doesn’t have to simply accept the first compensation amount offered to them. They have a right to negotiate a satisfactory price for the property.
- Mediation is a standard tool for making counteroffers before the court makes a decision.
- If the owner reaches no compromise with the government, a court may declare a formal condemnation.
- If a government entity does not have the proper authority to condemn a piece of property or has no good public purpose in mind, an owner can challenge the designation.
Landowners need to learn about their options
Many owners mount defenses that cite the constitution as a part of their challenge. Eminent domain is supported in Ohio by the state constitution and state laws. These laws augment the limitations in the US constitution and provide for eminent domain to be used for necessary public use without necessarily defining the limits of that use. This process can be a complicated one, extending into months or years of negotiations. Owners must explore all their legal options when pursuing acceptable forms of compensation.