Eminent domain is the ability of the government to seize private land for public use. While private citizens should get a fair settlement in return for the taken property, the outcome doesn’t always turn out as anticipated.
If a Georgia government agency has recently invoked eminent domain on your property, a Georgia eminent domain attorney could work with you to obtain more favorable results.
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A Closer Look at Eminent Domain
The power of eminent domain is found in the US Constitution’s Fifth Amendment and Georgia Code Title 22. It allows both federal and state government agencies to permanently or temporarily take over your land as long as it is for the public’s benefit. This can happen if the property is obstructing government projects or civic structures.
Some instances where the government can exercise eminent domain include:
- Construction of government offices and other buildings such as schools or courthouses
- Roads, bridges, or railway projects
- National park expansions
- Construction of public utilities such as water supply systems
In return for acquiring the property, the government or utility is obligated to compensate the property owner with an amount equal to its fair market value.
Furthermore, government officials shouldn’t use eminent domain to promote private interests, such as constructing commercial spaces for their own businesses.
How a Georgia Eminent Domain Attorney Can Help You
While the government has the burden of proof that they’re invoking eminent domain for the good of the public, an attorney could also help you investigate whether their claims are valid. They can compile proof of how much your property is worth and negotiate with the government for a fairer settlement.
If you cannot agree with the government’s offers, the matter will be resolved in court. An eminent domain attorney is an invaluable resource in that circumstance.
Could You Get Another Type of Lawyer?
It would still be in your best interest to get an eminent domain attorney in Georgia, rather than hiring a lawyer who doesn’t specialize in it. An eminent domain lawyer already knows the federal and state eminent domain laws that impact your case. They are better positioned to help you understand your rights as a property owner.
Working with a non-specialist attorney may complicate your efforts to resolve the dispute favorably, as both of you will be unfamiliar with eminent domain rules.
Protect Your Interests with a Georgia Eminent Domain Attorney
If your property is being seized through eminent domain, don’t try to go it alone. Contact a local eminent domain attorney to protect your interests and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
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