Eminent Domain

Columbia Attorney Protecting Your Property Rights Against the Government

The U.S. Constitution gives the government the power to acquire land from private parties if the government can show that it has a valid public purpose for acquiring the land. However, the Constitution also requires the government to pay just compensation to the owner for the property that it is taking. A number of government agencies have the authority to exercise the power of eminent domain, such as roadway maintenance and utilities companies that need to acquire easements or parcels of land for power lines or roadways. If you have been notified that property you own is subject to an eminent domain proceeding, you should contact an experienced Columbia eminent domain lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. Personal injury attorney Matt Uhrig has assisted many Missouri residents in eminent domain proceedings.

Understanding Eminent Domain Law in Missouri

According to the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, the government can take property through a condemnation proceeding when it shows that the taking will serve a public use. This has been defined as a taking that benefits the public rather than a limited group of specific individuals. Common examples of functions that are deemed public uses include trade centers, airport expansions, civic centers, parks, utilities, and government buildings.

One of the most important aspects of an eminent domain proceeding consists of ensuring that you receive sufficient compensation for your property. Courts have interpreted just compensation as reflecting the fair market value of the property that the government acquires in the proceeding. In most cases, the government will hire an appraiser to evaluate your property and determine its value. The appraiser will inspect the property, research it, and compare it with other similar sales in the area during a limited time frame. A property owner may also hire an independent appraiser to conduct a similar evaluation and prepare a report detailing his or her estimate of what just compensation should be in this situation. This often creates a starting point for the negotiations between the parties.

Some of the specific measures of value that the appraisers may consider are loss of business goodwill for commercial properties, the value of any permanent improvements on the property, whether the taking affects the owner’s route of access, and the value of any residences on the property. Ensuring that you receive a fair and accurate appraisal of your property is vital to asserting your constitutional rights as a private landowner.

Seek Representation from a Knowledgeable Eminent Domain Lawyer in Columbia

For many people subject to an eminent domain proceeding, the process is a new experience and can be confusing. To ensure that your rights are protected, you should consult a Columbia eminent domain attorney who understands all of the nuances involved. At the Law Offices of Matt Uhrig, we will treat you with the personalized attention and diligent legal counsel that you deserve during this stressful time. We can assist property owners in many communities throughout Missouri, including Ashland and Jefferson City. Call us at (877) 657-2050 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We are also available to assist victims who need a car accident attorney or guidance in pursuing compensation through another type of personal injury claim.

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