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What is Eminent Domain?

The definition of Eminent Domain is:

the power of the government to take private property for public purposes.

But the government can’t do that without properly compensating you. The Fifth Amendment states “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Federal, State and Local governments may take private property through their power of eminent domain or may regulate it by exercising their power. A variety of property rights are subject to eminent domain, such as air, water and land rights.

The Government is Contemplating the Acquisition of My Property

The Eminent domain definition, also known as condemnation, is simply the legal process that has been established to allow governments to gain ownership of private property for a public use. The eminent domain process can only be stopped if the proposed taking does not meet the requirements for public purpose or public necessity. If these tests are met, the government cannot be stopped from taking your property, but the government cannot dictate the price it’s willing to pay, either.

Eminent domain is an unwanted government intrusion into your life that will force you to make decisions about your property and your rights.

Do I Need a Condemnation Attorney?

It’s sometimes difficult to know whether or not you should hire an attorney. Here’s some examples in which you might need to:

  • If you have an inverse condemnation case, or if you’re challenging the government’s right to take, then yes, you need an attorney.
  • If the government gives you a ‘low ball’ offer and you want to pursue additional compensation, then you’ll need an eminent domain attorney to guide your through the eminent domain process and help you properly interface with the condemning authority.
  • You will also need assistance with determining the size of your claim, identifying the necessary experts, negotiating your case, and taking your case to trial if negotiations cannot be reached.

Don’t be surprised if you’re unable to quantify or assess your damages. No one expects you to be an expert on land valuation in eminent domain cases. In fact, the government is counting on this.

Do I Have a Case?

To determine if you have a case, you need to consult with an eminent domain lawyer who can identify damages that lead to just compensation. If you work with us, we won’t overlook damages that could result in a larger recovery. Because of the highly specialized nature of eminent domain law, very few attorneys can claim expertise in this area. We only represent property owners in eminent domain cases.

We will conduct a free case evaluation prior to recommending representation. Armed with this information, you decide whether it’s worthwhile to hire an attorney and pursue your claim.

I’m Not Sure I Can Afford a Condemnation Lawyer

Minnesota does have attorney fee recovery statutes where certain thresholds are met. These statutes allow property owners to recover 100% of their claim by forcing the government to pay their attorney’s fees and their costs.

We have a contingent fee structure. We will only get paid if we are successful at obtaining your deserved just compensation.

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