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What are the limitations on eminent domain?

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2020 | Real Estate

If the government or another entity wishes to take a portion of property you own, then you must ensure it has the right to do so under eminent domain and all actions taken as part of the process honor your rights. 

The Office of the Attorney General of Texas explains only a  government entity has the right to eminent domain unless a private entity gains the legal approval to use it. 

Your rights 

You have the right to fair compensation for your land taken under this law. You also have the right to get a private appraisal of the land. You may hire legal representation to assist you with the matter, and you have the right to a hearing by a panel of commissioners to determine proper compensation. 

If you object to the details of the situation, you have the right to a judge or jury trial, and if that does not end in a way with which you agree, then you can appeal the decision. 

The responsibilities of the entity 

An entity may only evoke eminent domain for public use of the land. It must provide you with a notification that it wishes to use this process to take your property. You must also get a written proposal that outlines the compensation offer. 

The entity must make a good faith offer to you for the property before taking you to court for any disagreement about the situation. For example, if the entity trying to take it provides you with a fair offer for compensation and you still will not accept, then the entity may take you to court to force you to give up the land.