Can I stop the government from taking my property?

It is important to understand your rights in an eminent domain action to take your property. Under eminent domain laws, the government or its agents have the authority to take property for a legitimate public use provided just compensation is paid to the landowner.

Public use is a legal requirement under the takings clause (“nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation”) of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Public use requires that private property only be taken for a use that benefits the interest of the public.

This means property can be acquired for such purposes as to:

In order to take your property using the power of eminent domain, the condemning authority must show that your property is necessary for public use.

In some cases, the condemnation of private property can be stopped if the landowner proves that the proposed taking does not meet the legal requirements for public necessity or that the condemning authority has not met its procedural requirements.

The primary goal of the condemning authority is to complete the planned project for the benefit of the greater public, not to look out for your individual best interests. You require your own legal advocate to guide you through the eminent domain process. A knowledgeable and skilled eminent domain attorney can assist you in challenging the government’s authority to acquire your property.

Contact Krause & Kinsman today at (844) 212-3370 to schedule a FREE consultation.

 

Note: The Content Of This Website Is For General Purposes Only. These Informational Materials Are Not Intended, And Must Not Be Taken, As Legal Advice On Any Particular Set Of Facts Or Circumstances. Please Consult A Condemnation Lawyer At Krause And Kinsman For Advice About Your Individual Situation. Feel Free To Get In Touch With Us Via Phone, Email, Or Live Chat.

Easements Explained

For some public projects, a condemning authority may not need to acquire your property entirely, but only certain rights to use it or a portion of it. An easement is a limited right to use the land of another for a specific purpose, for example, a transmission line easement across agricultural property or an underground utility easement through a residential neighborhood. If a landowner does not want to sell or grant the rights to use his property for this purpose, the authority can acquire the necessary easement by condemning it under the law of eminent domain.

Easements can impact landowners through restrictions imposed on the parcel of land. Most easements prevent landowners from placing structures on the designated land, such as fences, buildings, walls, sheds, and more. This can potentially impact development and expansion plans for property owners. Landowners are also required to pay taxes on the land used and are obligated to maintain the property.

Types of Easements

Permanent Easements

A “permanent easement” occurs when the condemning authority, purchases the rights to use a portion of your land for their own purposes. You still own the property; however, the landowner must abide by the limitations of use.

Temporary Easements

A “temporary easement” occurs when part or all of the property is appropriated for a limited period of time. The property owner retains title, is compensated for any losses associated with the taking, and regains complete possession of the property at the conclusion of the taking.

Categories of Easement Takings

Utility Easements

Utility easements are exercised by utility companies designated for the installment of transmission lines and underground electric, water, sewer, as well as cable and phone lines. A utility easement is attached to the property deed, even if ownership is transferred. An example of a utility easement is an easement that gives an electric power company authority to run transmission lines along a strip of property.

Drainage Easements

Drainage easements control water runoff and typically involve the constructing of a retention pond. Ditches are usually dug, and water pipes are installed. Many property owners have experienced drainage issues. Sometimes when the government acquires land for a public infrastructure project, drainage is impacted. However, property owners are entitled to compensation for the damages caused to the remaining property.

Construction Easements

Construction easements are temporary and commonly used for road widenings/reconstruction and intersection expansion/improvements. Construction easement can be used to store large equipment and other materials necessary for the project.  Once the project is completed, the owner regains use of the land.

Contact Krause and Kinsman Today

It is important to consider how easements affect the value and use of your remaining property. Government entities are required to fairly compensate a property owner for the acquisition of an easement. However, you may deserve more than the amount offered.

The Krause and Kinsman Law Firm represents clients across the country defend their property rights and obtain just compensation in eminent domain matters.

Contact Krause & Kinsman today at (844) 212-3370 to schedule a FREE consultation.

Note: The Content Of This Website Is For General Purposes Only. These Informational Materials Are Not Intended, And Must Not Be Taken, As Legal Advice On Any Particular Set Of Facts Or Circumstances. Please Consult A Condemnation Lawyer At Krause And Kinsman For Advice About Your Individual Situation. Feel Free To Get In Touch With Us Via Phone, Email, Or Live Chat.

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Krause & Kinsman Law Firm.

Posted by KRAUSE & KINSMAN LAW FIRM on Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Eminent Domain Process – What to Expect

The eminent domain process can be complex and an outright burden upon business or property owners. The laws and procedures governing the use of eminent domain differ from state to state. However, there are typical steps that occur during the condemnation process.

In the initial stage of the eminent domain process, the project is announced to the public. During this time, the project route is evaluated, environmental studies are conducted, and public meetings are held.

Alternative routes are analyzed and ultimately a final route is determined. During the preliminary phases of a project’s design, the government or agency planning the project may also conduct property surveys and appraisals.

Once the government or its agents determines the parcels of land needed to complete the project, property owners are contacted and presented with an offer for the purchase of the portion of their property needed for the project.  The property needed could include a temporary easement or permanent easement, a portion of the property or, in some instances, the entire property may be required to construct the project.

Following an Offer to Purchase Land

  • If the property owner agrees with the sale and price, then the government issues payment and the landowner gives up the deed.
  • If the property owner does not agree with the amount offered, he may make a counter-offer. The property owner may also choose to hire an attorney to negotiate the fair market value of his property.
  • If an agreement cannot be met, the property will be “taken” by condemnation. To take the property, the government or agency will file a lawsuit asking the court to grant the government or agency ownership of the property.  The government must demonstrate that it engaged in good faith negotiations to purchase the property, but that no agreement was reached. The government must also demonstrate that the taking of the property is for a public use.
  • If the court grants the government ownership of the necessary property, an appraiser or panel of commissioners will establish the fair market value of the property and the owner will be paid just compensation for the loss of his property. In most cases, either side may appeal the award of compensation. If appealed, a trial is conducted to determine just compensation.

*Remember that each state has specific intricacies under eminent domain law. This information is a generalized outline of the process and does not represent any particular instance or case.

The Krause and Kinsman Law Firm represents clients whose property is threatened by eminent domain. We will fight for your property rights and, if necessary, go to trial to secure the just compensation for the loss of your home or business. Contact Krause & Kinsman today at (844) 212-3370 to learn more about your property rights.

The content of this website is for general purposes only. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please consult a condemnation lawyer at Krause and Kinsman for advice about your individual situation. Feel free to get in touch with us via phone or email.

What Counts as Public Use Under Eminent Domain Law?

Eminent domain, also referred to as condemnation, is the taking of private property by local, state or federal government for a public use, providing the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property.

Definition of Public Use

Public use is a legal requirement under the takings clause (“nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation”) of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Public use requires that private property only be taken for a use that benefits the interest of the public rather than particular individuals.

However, the term does not necessarily imply actual use, but is instead designated as any project beneficial to the public. Over the years public use has been broadened to include more and more purposes, such as for-profit development projects.

In Kelo v. City of New London (2005), the U.S. Supreme Court authorized the use of eminent domain to seize private property to sell to private developers. The court ruled private redevelopment plans qualified as public use on the grounds that the economic growth benefits the community.

Examples of Public Use

Under eminent domain law, private property can be acquired for such public purposes as to expand a highway or airport, build a school, construct a community park, create a new pipeline route, or to provide enhanced utilities, as long as the taking authority compensates you.

Here are some common examples as to what constitutes as public use under eminent domain law:

Pipelines: Pipelines crisscross the country, creating an enhanced network to transport natural resources. Pipelines can run through your business, home, or agricultural property, potentially impacting resale value and land use.

Transmission Lines: Transmission lines run over and through residences, farms, and businesses. Our attorneys recognize that transmission lines can impair aesthetic views and property use, making it more difficult to sell or develop the land.

Road Widening/ Reconstruction: Private property is often condemned when a city or state expands a road or highway to improve traffic flow and safety or meet the infrastructure demands of a growing community.  As such, residential, commercial, and agriculture property owners in the path of the road improvements may be required to surrender their properties for this public use.

School Expansions: School districts can seize private property through the power of eminent domain for expansion and construction. Eminent domain can be used to take all or only part of a property.

Airport Expansions: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) encourages airports to use land currently owned by the airport authority whenever feasible to construct or expand an airport. However, if additional land is needed for such purposes, then private property may be acquired through the power of eminent domain.

Bridge Replacements: Eminent domain if necessary is used to secure an easement or the acquisition of private property for bridge replacements and improvements. Thus, residential, commercial, and agriculture property owners are obliged to relinquish their properties for public use.

Railways: Many states allow private companies in certain industries that build public infrastructure, such as railroads, the authority to take private property using eminent domain.   An authorized railroad company may exercise the power of eminent domain to acquire land for railway easements and construction.

Contact Krause and Kinsman Today

Eminent domain is a complex process and can be a confusing topic for landowners facing possible condemnation. The attorneys of Krause and Kinsman are ready to stand by your side and defend your property rights. We strive to increase the odds of just compensation for your home or business.

Contact Krause & Kinsman today at (844) 212-3370 to schedule a FREE consultation.

Note: The content of this website is for general purposes only. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please consult a condemnation lawyer at Krause and Kinsman for advice about your individual situation. Feel free to get in touch with us via phone, email, or live chat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Eminent Domain Lawyers Help Their Clients

Eminent domain is a fundamental power held by the government and some private corporations to acquire private property for public use.

Under eminent domain law, the government has the authority to take property for a legitimate public use provided just compensation is paid to the owner. This means property can be acquired for such purposes as to expand a highway or airport, build a school, construct a community park, create a new pipeline route, or to provide enhanced utilities, as long as the taking authority compensates you.

Hiring an eminent domain attorney can help you in multiple ways.

Here are three reasons why an eminent domain attorney is beneficial for you:

  1. Helping you understand your rights

It is essential to be informed about your private property rights and the eminent domain process. Government entities must comply with specific procedures under the law. An eminent domain attorney can help you determine whether the government is acquiring your property for a true public purpose, or if the acquisition does not comply with the provisions of the law. These complexities require the legal interpretation and analysis of a knowledgeable and skilled eminent domain attorney.

  1. Securing compensation for your losses

It is important to determine if the offer you have received for your property is just. Government entities are required to fairly compensate the property owner. However, you may deserve more than the amount offered. In eminent domain, your compensation is based upon fair market value, an opinion of value that may vary dramatically depending upon the highest and best use of your property and properties considered to be comparable to yours by the appraiser. Eminent domain is a complex and highly specialized area of law.  Lawyers and professional witnesses who do not regularly represent landowners in condemnation, can overlook important aspects of the case and miss intricate details relating to the value of your property and the amount of compensation you are owed.

  1. Simplifying the legal process

Eminent domain laws and procedures can be complicated and intricate.  The laws and the process can also differ from state to state and under Federal law. It is important to consult with a qualified eminent domain attorney fully understand the condemnation process and your rights as a property owner.


When the government or a private corporation seeks to take your property by eminent domain, a knowledgeable legal advocate on your side can offer valuable insight into the procedures and the law. Let Krause and Kinsman guide you through the eminent domain process and defend your rights. We are prepared to vigorously pursue every angle of your case.  Our eminent domain attorneys will negotiate with condemning authorities on your behalf and, if needed, will take your case to trial to secure the just compensation guaranteed to you by the U.S. Constitution.

We understand that your home or business may be your largest asset. Our condemnation lawyers work with families, businesses, farms, and other landowners to defend their property and their rights under eminent domain law. Contact Krause & Kinsman today at (844) 212-3370 to learn more about your property rights.

Note: The content of this website is for general purposes only. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please consult a condemnation lawyer at Krause and Kinsman for advice about your individual situation. Feel free to get in touch with us via phone, email, or live chat.

Hiring an Eminent Domain Attorney Costs How Much?

The prospect of taking on the government, or a private corporation to fight the taking of your property by the power of eminent domain can seem daunting and expensive. Many property owners fear that they can’t afford to hire a skilled condemnation lawyer.

Don’t let the concern for upfront costs and hourly fees stop you from obtaining legal representation.   At Krause and Kinsman, we work on a contingent fee basis, which means you do not pay our attorney’s fees unless we secure for you additional compensation over what the government initially offered you for your property.

What is a Contingency Fee?

A contingency fee is a sum of money that a lawyer receives as a fee at the conclusion of the case and only if the case is handled successfully.  This fee is typically collected as a fixed percentage of the compensation awarded to the client.

If your property is threatened by eminent domain and you are currently seeking a condemnation attorney, you may wish to consider hiring a lawyer that works on a contingent fee basis.  A contingency fee arrangement will not require you to pay a retainer upfront nor monthly legal bills. Legal representation that this billed by the hour can quickly add up for a property owner facing eminent domain.

We Only Earn A Fee When We Secure More Compensation for You

Our contingency fee is collected as one-third (33.33%) of the additional compensation we secure for you above what the government or its agents initially offered you. Our fee is paid at the conclusion of the case  from the additional money awarded to you. This means you could receive a much larger final award than what was originally offered and you are not responsible for paying an attorney’s fee if we are not successful.

An Example of Our Contingency Fee in Eminent Domain

  • $1, 000 – Initial offer to purchase a portion of your property
  • $10,000 – Just compensation Krause and Kinsman secures for your property
  • $3,000 – Krause and Kinsman’s contingency fee
  • $7,000 – Your total compensation = $1,000 (initial offer) + $6,000 (additional compensation).

*Note: The result described above is for informational purposes only. While such potential results may be possible, this example does not serve to guarantee any future results.  Every eminent domain case is distinct and all cases have their own unique facts, circumstances and legal issues that must be considered and evaluated on their own merit. 

Contact Krause and Kinsman Today

Our goal as your chosen eminent domain attorneys is to secure the maximum amount of just compensation for your property allowable under the law and to guide you through the condemnation process. The sooner you have a qualified eminent domain lawyer on your side, the better.

Contact Krause and Kinsman by phone (844) 212-3370 for a FREE evaluation of your case. You can also connect with us by live chat.

Note: The content of this website is for general purposes only. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please consult a condemnation lawyer at Krause and Kinsman for advice about your individual situation. Feel free to get in touch with us via phone, email, or live chat.

Answers to 5 Frequently Asked Questions about Eminent Domain

Landowners across the country are adversely affected by eminent domain every year.  There are a few questions that property owners facing the loss of property due to eminent domain generally ask.

5 Frequently Asked Questions about Eminent Domain

Q. What is eminent domain?
A. Eminent domain, also known as “condemnation,” is the power held by the government, governmental agencies and some private corporations, such as utility and energy companies, to take possession of private property for public use. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution includes a provision known as the Takings Clause, which states that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Read more about the eminent domain process here.

Q. Can the government take my private property by eminent domain for any reason?
A. No. Under eminent domain law, the government only has the authority to take property for a legitimate public use. This means property can be taken to expand a highway or airport, build a school, construct a community park, create a new pipeline route, or to provide enhanced utilities, among other purposes.

Q. Can I stop the government from taking my property?
A. In some cases, the condemnation of private property can be stopped if the landowner proves that the proposed taking does not meet the legal requirements for public necessity or that the condemning authority has not met its procedural requirements. A knowledgeable and skilled eminent domain attorney can assist you in challenging the government’s authority to acquire your property.

Q. Should I accept the initial offer given to me, since the government is obligated to pay fair market value for my property?
A. Fair market value may vary dramatically depending upon the highest and best use of your property and other characteristics that may be unique to your property. Keep in mind that the condemning authority’s opinion of just compensation could be at the lower end of market rates.

Q. If I receive a condemnation notice, does that mean that the government has already taken my property?
A. Often the notice alerts landowners that the property will be taken through the power of eminent domain giving the landowner some time, but often not much time, to prepare for the next steps in the process. If you have received a condemnation notice, contact us to learn more about your rights and how we can help you. The sooner you have a qualified eminent domain lawyer on your side, the better.

Contact Krause and Kinsman Today
At Krause and Kinsman, we understand that your home or business may be your largest asset. We represent families, businesses, farms, and other landowners in eminent domain matters. Regardless of whether your property is residential, commercial, agricultural or other special-use property, we approach the case the same way: analyze the situation, create a plan and fully execute.  Our attorneys stand ready to vigorously pursue every aspect of your case and guide you through the entire process.

Call (844) 212-3370 for a FREE evaluation of your case or  connect with us via live chat.

Note: The content of this website is for general purposes only. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. Please consult a condemnation lawyer at Krause and Kinsman for advice about your individual situation. Feel free to get in touch with us via phone, email, or live chat.