If your land is determined to be necessary for a governmental function, either the federal government or the government of Ohio could use the power of eminent domain to lay claim to your property.
How the government’s eminent domain powers work
Eminent domain is a power that the United States Constitution gives to governments. It allows them to bring an action against a citizen to force that citizen to sell their land to the government.
The government cannot use this power whenever they want. There are strict requirements that they must meet in order to be successful in an eminent domain action.
They must show that they want your land for a purpose that is in the public’s interest, and that would benefit the public. They must also compensate you fairly for your land, meaning that you won’t be left with nothing.
Even if you receive fair compensation for your property, it can be upsetting to lose a house that you worked hard to purchase and that you have memories in. You may be wondering if you have the ability to contest an eminent domain action in the courts.
Can I fight an eminent domain action?
In order to be legal, an eminent domain taking must be necessary for an important governmental function, and the land must be used for public use. In other words, there must be a valid reason for taking your land, and it must benefit the public at large.
This provides your attorney with two different approaches to challenging the action against your land. They could argue that the public would not benefit from the planned use of your land sufficiently to justify its taking. Alternately, they could argue that your land isn’t completely necessary for achieving that public interest.
It can be scary to think that the government might force you to sell your hard-earned land to them. Fortunately, you aren’t without options. If this happens to you, your attorney will have valid arguments to make in defense of your right to keep your land.