Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private property for public use. The process involves condemnation of your property, appraisal of its value, an offer to purchase and negotiation for a fair price. All too often, the government offers an unsatisfactory amount of compensation or property is improperly designated for public use. When these eminent domain abuses occur, you can count on Thorp and Clarke, P.A..
Public use traditionally refers to streets, airports, dams, reservoirs, schools, hospitals, parks and other projects purported to benefit the community. In some cases, private companies can gain easements through the eminent domain doctrine to perform such functions as laying and maintaining gas, water, telephone or power lines. The 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision Kelo v. New London upheld the government’s authority to take personal property for economic development. Because of this controversial ruling, families have witnessed the destruction of the homes they love and business owners have watched what they worked so hard to build over a lifetime demolished in the name of progress. If your treasured house or business is condemned as blighted to make room for private development, we can help you fight to save your property. We review the government’s proposed use of your property and challenge the legitimacy of the public purpose.
The highest price a buyer would pay you for your property if you were selling on the open market is its fair market value. The government’s initial offer to buy your property is often much lower than you deserve. We seek alternative appraisals to dispute the government’s inadequate assessment of your property’s fair market value. With our exceptional negotiation skills and meticulous preparation, we guide the pricing of your property for the highest possible payout.
The Fifth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution prohibit the government’s taking of private property without payment of just compensation to the property owner. Fair market value is the basis of the government’s offer, but not the only consideration. Often your business’s good will or value is diminished when the government forces you to move your location. We passionately pursue litigation until you receive full compensation from the government.