Landowners in Texas have the right to use and enjoy their property as they see fit, as long as it is lawful. However, it may be surprising to some to learn that there are times when the United States government can make a claim to a portion of privately owned property. This is the principle of eminent domain, and private citizens may staunchly defend their rights, including fighting the claim to their property or seeking fair compensation for it.
When can the government take property?
Through eminent domain, the government can take property in very specific cases. This may happen when private property is needed for expansion of utility lines, building public roads, installation of cell towers and other projects that would benefit the public. However, there are limits to eminent domain, and property owners do not have to simply accept it.
If the government ever claims private property, it must offer the owner a fair price for it. In return, the owner may dispute the claim altogether or seek a higher price for his or her land. These cases can be complex, and it is not always easy to confront the government.
What should a landowner do?
In cases involving eminent domain, a Texas property owner will benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney. This will allow the individual to fully understand his or her legal options in the individual situation. Whether it is disputing the claim or seeking a higher price, an owner may fight for his or her property rights and financial interests.