Do You Get Paid for Eminent Domain?
Has the government decided to take your land under the power of eminent domain? You might be wondering, “Do you get paid for eminent domain?”
The short answer is yes. If the government, or some other condemnor (like a utility company, for example), is taking your property using the power of eminent domain, they must pay you just compensation.
In this blog post, we’ll answer the question, “Do you get paid for eminent domain?” in more detail and discuss steps you can take to ensure you get fair compensation for your taken property.
What is Eminent Domain?
Eminent Domain is when the government, or some entity empowered by the government, takes private property for public use. The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, in part, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
“Just compensation” essentially means that you have a right to receive a fair price for your taken property.
If the entire property is taken, the condemnor (usually the government or a utility company) must pay you the full market value of the property as of the date of the taking. That may sound simple enough, but often the condemnor wants to pay you less for your property than what other buyers or appraisers may feel the property is worth.
So, in regards to the question, “Do you get paid for eminent domain?”, the answer is yes… BUT that doesn’t mean you’ll receive a fair offer… at least right away.
It is important to note that in cases where only a portion of the land is taken, they must pay compensation for the part taken, and additionally, for any diminution in value of the remainder of the property. There are numerous conditions that can be created by a taking that could lower the value of your remaining property.
“I’m supposed to be paid ‘just compensation’ for my property. How much should I get?”
In considering what you should be paid in an eminent domain matter, the highest and best use of the entire property should be considered in the before-taking condition and the after-taking condition. If your property has a highest and best use of commercial/retail in the “before” condition but is only good for assemblage in the “after” condition, you have suffered a great loss in value even though you still have the property. You are entitled to recover that loss in value.
There are other factors to consider as well. Is there going to be increased water runoff onto your property, reducing the usable area? Will your house, store, or other building now be out of compliance with local setbacks? Will you lose a significant portion of access or road frontage to your property?
These are just some of the items that should be considered when trying to determine just compensation.
The Short Version
The short answer to the question, “Do you get paid for eminent domain?” is “Yes.”
It is important to make sure that you not only get paid, but that you get paid the full amount of just compensation. This right is so important that the founding fathers thought it important enough to be explicitly stated in the Bill of Rights.
When a condemnor is paying you less than full just compensation, they are failing to provide justice.
Often, a condemnor will have teams of lawyers, appraisers, engineers, and land planners all working from their side of the fight. This means that it is important to have an experienced eminent domain attorney to help you get the compensation and justice you deserve.
At Riddle & Brantley, our eminent domain team is led by attorney Chris Beacham. As a former assistant attorney general for the State of North Carolina, Chris has experience handling eminent domain cases on both sides of the table. With his “behind-the-scenes” perspective on North Carolina eminent domain cases, Chris knows what it takes to win his clients the just compensation they deserve.
For a FREE consultation with an experienced eminent domain lawyer representing clients across North Carolina, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the fast and easy form below.
There is never any obligation, and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we negotiate more compensation for you from the government or utility company.
Call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your eminent domain case.
Justice Counts for North Carolinians whose property is taken by the government or utility companies and we are ready to help you fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.