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What is eminent domain?

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2023 | Real Estate

Property owners are sometimes surprised by the fact that the United States government can decide to take their property in certain circumstances. Even if the property is rightfully owned, it is within the ability of the government, on a local, state or federal level, to take property for specific purposes. It is in the interests of every Texas property owner to know how to protect their interests in the event they are facing a threat of eminent domain, which could lead to the loss of their property. 

The government versus property rights 

In specific circumstances, it is possible for the government to confiscate portions of private property or entire portions of privately owned property for certain types of projects or for public use. This cannot be done on a whim, and there must be clear evidence that taking the property would be for the public benefit. Ample notice must be given to the property owner, and he or she has the right to protest the eminent domain. 

When confiscating property, the government must fairly compensate the property owner. In addition to protesting the confiscation, the property owner can seek a certain amount for his or her property. The government must offer a fair price based off the true value of the land. 

Fighting eminent domain 

It is very difficult to fight eminent domain, but a Texas property owner does not have to do it alone. He or she will benefit from the assistance of an experienced attorney who can provide insight regarding how to defend property rights at every step. An assessment of the individual situation can help a property owner understand what he or she can do to protect his or her interests and seek the most beneficial outcome.