What Is Eminent Domain?  

Eminent domain is the government’s right to take private property when it’s needed for a public use. The “government” can refer to any public agency at the state, county, city, or municipal levels, as well as utility providers like gas and electric companies. An example of a government agency that regularly exercises eminent domain is the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).

Although the government can take your land, there is a process it must follow. The government is first obligated to make “every reasonable effort” to obtain your land through negotiation. If you agree to the government’s offer, it must pay the agreed purchase price before assuming possession of your property. It must also provide you with at least 90 days’ notice to vacate (O.C.G.A. § 22-1-9).

If you oppose eminent domain or don’t agree to the government’s offer, the government can initiate a condemnation action, where it seizes your land through legal proceedings in court.

Can I Stop the Government from Taking My Property? 

In Georgia, you can stop the government from exercising eminent domain and taking your land if you can prove that the proposed use doesn’t meet the public use requirement. 

Examples of eminent domain public uses include the following: 

  • Highways
  • Roads 
  • Bridges 
  • Public utility infrastructure
  • Public parks and nature reserves

If the government’s proposed use of your land doesn’t constitute a public use, our condemnation lawyers in Cumming, GA can help you demonstrate this during condemnation proceedings. With many years of experience handling issues like this for previous clients, we have the knowledge and skill necessary to protect you from being taken advantage of by the government.

Compensation for Eminent Domain in Georgia 

The government can’t seize your land without offering fair compensation for it. In most cases, you are also entitled to payment before the government assumes control of your property. 

If the government’s offer fails to meet your expectations, you can challenge the amount of compensation in court, but you have a very limited amount of time to file your appeal.  If you don’t appeal within 30 days of being served with the condemnation lawsuit, your compensation will be limited to what the government claims is just and adequate. This amount is often times significantly lower than the true value of the property being taken, especially if the condemnation reduces the value of your remaining property. Miles Hansford & Tallant, LLC can walk you through each step of this process so that you have a better chance of getting a fair compensation from the government.

Do You Need Condemnation Representation?

Real estate disputes involving the government can be overwhelming to handle on your own. You’ll need an experienced eminent domain lawyer to help you protect your interests and fight against eminent domain and/or to get fair compensation for your property.

Our condemnation attorneys in Cumming, GA can offer this kind of legal support and more, whether your issue involves eminent domain from state, county, or city government agencies. You can learn more about how we can make a difference in your case by scheduling an initial consultation. 

Submit an online contact form now to reach out to Miles Hansford & Tallant, LLC today.

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What Is Eminent Domain?

Governments can take property if it is deemed to be for a public use. That term may seem ambiguous, and the definition of “public use” can indeed vary from case to case and location to location, even within Georgia. A public use might be a road, a public utility or even the construction of a subdivision.

The government is required to offer fair compensation for the property that is being taken. However, the government’s offer may be vastly different from what a property owner might expect or deem to be reasonable.

There is recourse available. If the two sides cannot agree, this type of real estate dispute heads to condemnation proceedings. Property owners often choose to work with an experienced real estate attorney such as one from Miles Hansford & Tallant, LLC, who can help protect their interests and fight for an appropriate valuation.

Hire an Attorney Experienced in Condemnation Law

Eminent domain law is often murky and misunderstood by the general public. Contact a lawyer at our firm to discuss your case. You can reach us at (770) 574-6688 or through email.

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