The government has the right to condemn private property to make public improvements. While this eminent domain process allows the government to condemn property, it must also justly compensate the landowner for doing it.
There are specific things a government entity must do to fulfill the requirements to purchase property under the eminent domain law. If a landowner is against selling, he or she can try to take the government to court and stop the proceedings. While this is a longshot, it may work in certain situations. A valid argument may stop eminent domain in its tracks.
Prove the project is not beneficial to the public
When claiming property under eminent domain, the government must have a plan to convert the property for public use. The purpose of the land should prove beneficial and either provide security, improvement to an existing public area (such as expanding a roadway) or recreational use.
When a landowner receives notice that his or her land is under consideration for the project, he or she may want to do some more digging. The government should file plans for the proposed changes, so understanding what these plans are may help owners decide if the condemnation falls under eminent domain. If it does not, the owner may apply to stop the purchase of private property.
Get other owners involved against the action
One tract of private property may not prove enough to complete the proposed improvements. As such, the government may apply to condemn the property of adjacent landowners. An owner who wants to build a case against eminent domain may wish to seek out other landowners who receive the same notice. Having a larger group of people oppose the government’s actions may improve the chances of prevailing.
Even if the government pays a fair price for a tract of private property, the action may not be welcome. Understanding the options may help a landowner move forward with either accepting or fighting the condemnation.