Eminent Domain and Condemnation is a process where either the State, Cities, Towns, Counties, or Utility companies have the right to file a lawsuit to take your land for public use. Private property shall not be taken for or applied to public use, unless just compensation is paid to the property owner.
The process may involve public hearings to give notice of the project, hearings on the design, selection of the property to be taken, notification that your property will be appraised, and a written offer letter based on the market value.
The market value is an offer based on “the highest price estimated in terms of money that a property will bring if exposed for sale on the open market by a seller who is willing, but not obligated to sell, allowing a reasonable time to find a purchaser who is willing, but not obligated to buy, both parties having full knowledge of all the uses to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used”.
It is important for a property owner to have an attorney after the first offer letter is received. The taking by a governmental entity may be a full taking or a partial taking. If only part of the property is needed for the project, the owner’s remaining property is retained by the owner. There may be damages or added benefits to the owner’s remaining property. The appraiser places a value on the property before the acquisition and a value on the owner’s remaining property. The difference between these two numbers is the amount of the offer made by the governmental entity to the property owner for the partial taking.
You are not required to accept the offer, and may contest the amount offered in Probate Court. There are three (3) independent commissioners that will determine the value, after hearing the evidence in Probate Court. If you are not satisfied with the amount of money awarded by the Probate Court, you may file an appeal to Circuit Court and request a trial by judge or jury.
Martinson & Beason, P.C. has experience in the field of eminent domain and condemnation. Our Huntsville lawyers have represented the State of Alabama Department of Transportation (as Special Assistant Attorney General), and Town of Triana, as Town Attorney, as well as representing many different property owners and businesses in cases against the Cities of Huntsville, Madison, New Hope and Gurley, as well as the State of Alabama. The firm has handled well over 600 different cases in both the Probate Court and appeals to Circuit Court.
Some of the projects were: Interstate 565, Boeing Blvd, South Memorial Parkway at Weatherly Road, Whitesburg Bridge (Madison & Morgan Counties), County Line Road (Madison & Limestone Counties), Bob Wade Lane at the Toyota Plant, Highway 53, Research Park, and sewer projects for Gurley, New Hope, and the Town of Triana.
We have represented clients on both sides of these cases, we are qualified and capable of assisting you with your Eminent Domain and Condemnation case.
If you have any questions concerning Eminent Domain and Condemnation, contact the experienced and knowledgeable Huntsville Eminent Domain and Condemnation Attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C.
Email us or contact us at 256-533-1667.