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Eminent Domain Law

At The Finley Firm, our eminent domain attorneys have extensive experience counseling and defending corporations and individuals whose property interests are threatened by state and local agencies with the power to take property ostensibly for public purposes in Alabama and Georgia.

Georgia Eminent Domain Attorneys & Alabama Eminent Domain Lawyers

Our eminent domain attorneys counsel clients about the economics of challenging condemnation actions and assist them in assessing pre-litigation proposals. When condemning authorities do not cooperate, our eminent domain lawyers are ready to handle all aspects of condemnation actions from appraisal, business valuation, and, if needed, to trial.

 

Among other things, we have successfully challenged the adequacy of the condemnor’s valuation of the interests being taken and proved business loss damages arising from the taking. In addition, we have negotiated issues by and among the tenant, landlord, and the landlord’s lender over the amount of funds to be used to cure the impact of the condemnation, negotiated more favorable access or easement rights, and guided clients through the regulatory issues that occasionally affect property owners affected by condemnation.

How Eminent Domain Works

  • When was eminent domain established? 

    • Eminent domain and its limitations are a hallmark of the founding of our national government and thus has become a part of each state’s foundational documents. Eminent domain is the power of the state to take someone’s property for the good or betterment of the state. But, the property cannot be taken without just compensation.

  • When can eminent domain be used?

    • Eminent domain – the taking of private property – can be used whenever it is done for the public or common good. It can be used for public roads, infrastructure, utilities, drainage, easements, parks, green space, public buildings, and the like.

  • What is the process of eminent domain?

    • Eminent domain involves a properly adopted plan of action or acquisition, a valuation of the property to be taken, a fair offer to the private landowner, and if the offer isn’t accepted a court action to obtain the property.

  • Who can claim eminent domain?

    • The state and its instrumentalities (counties, cities, towns) can exercise the right of eminent domain.

  • How long does eminent domain take?

    • Eminent domain can be a fairly quick process depending on the basis for exercising it. But certain due process steps must be ensured.

  • Is eminent domain constitutional?

    • It is well established that when done correctly, eminent domain is constitutional and allowed.

  • Can eminent domain be stopped?

    • The exercise of a state’s eminent domain powers cannot be stopped unless the due process procedures ensured by law are not followed.

  • Does eminent domain apply to personal property?

    • The state has the right to take or diminish any number of property rights so long as due process is followed.

Practice Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Class Actions & Mass Torts

Commercial Litigation

Premises Liability

Product Liability

Workers’ Compensation

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