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Public Use And The Right To Take

Private Property Rights Attorney Serving Clients in the Greater Monterey Bay area

When the government wishes to take private land and convert it to other private use, property owners often question whether this is a proper use of eminent domain. Eminent domain is understood to be a government body's right to take land for public use.

When is the Exercise of Eminent Domain Justified?

When the use of the land is clearly for the benefit of the public (such as for construction of a highway or a city hall), landowners may protest yet understand the public need. However, residential or commercial private property is sometimes taken by the government for conversion to use by another private entity. Owners may justifiably question the government's right to take property in this manner.

What Constitutes "Public Use"?

In some cases, a property owner may have the right and the ability to challenge the condemning agency's justification for "public use" of a conversion of one's private property to another private use.

Is the Promise of More Sales Tax Revenue Legitimate "Public Use"?

Redevelopment agencies in California were abolished, but have been re-established by Infrastructure Financing Districts. It is unclear whether these districts will wholly recharge cities' power to redevelop blighted properties in urban areas.

Contact an Experienced California Eminent Domain Lawyer as Soon as Property Condemnation is a Possibility

When eminent domain looms on the horizon as a threat to your private residential or commercial property, contact an experienced California property condemnation attorney as early in the process as possible. Learn about ways to challenge property condemnation by county governments when proposed new uses do not pass the test of legitimate public use.

When the letter arrives indicating that the government will take your land whether you are interested in selling or not, you may be feel there is nothing left to do but sell. Some people have concerns that hiring representation could mean "throwing good money after bad." However, in many cases the government has based the valuation of your property on its estimate of "fair market value." Fair market value is not an inclusive or absolute value. It does not involve a comprehensive analysis or take into account potential damages to your remaining land or property. In fact, there are a lot of cases where an takings lawyer can help you recover substantially more money than the stated "fair market value" the government is offering.

What To Do When Your Property Is Being Taken Under Eminent Domain in California

If your property is being considered for condemnation under eminent domain, it may be in your best interest to meet with an real estate law attorney and ensure that the full value of the property — including the damages to the remaining property — is offered. Eminent domain is a growing issue in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara counties. Make an appointment with me if you have concerns regarding how Highway 156 in Monterey County or how the proposed California High Speed Rail will negatively affect your property. If your property has suffered water damage from a water company pipe or a public drain, you may be able to recover damages in inverse condemnation.

Don't let the government take your property without having a third party value it. Call the law firm of Robert J. Ernst III, Attorney at Law at 831-753-6125 or fill out the online contact form and I will contact you promptly. Serving Monterey Bay in real estate law and eminent domain cases for over 30 years. Our law firm represents clients in Monterey, Salinas, and the Monterey Bay area, California.