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Eminent Domain

In Pennsylvania, under eminent domain law, government bodies, as well as some utility companies, are allowed to condemn property for certain uses. However, to do so they must provide just compensation and follow proper procedures. Some reasons a property might be condemned include:

  • Commercial and residential redevelopment
  • Utility line installation
  • Water treatment facility installation
  • Expansion and relocation of highways and roadways
  • Development of schools and public buildings
However, as a business, the loss of your property without significant compensation can be detrimental. At Hoegen & Associates, P.C. in Wilkes-Barre, PA, we make you and your business our priority. We will represent your best interests, ensuring you receive just compensation through eminent domain so that you can move forward. We take the time to investigate whether the authorities are following the correct procedures and to calculate the fair market value or replacement value of your property.

We Fight to Get You the Compensation You Deserve

 

Just Compensation

Government authorities and utility companies care much more about their development projects than about providing you with just compensation when condemning your property. That’s why you need an assertive attorney on your side who will seek to obtain the compensation you deserve based on your property’s market value. We have a proven success rate in helping our clients get just compensation and are passionate about representing property owners in cases of property condemnation.

Inverse Condemnation

In a case of inverse, or de facto, condemnation, an authority has seized control over your property without following proper eminent domain/condemnation procedures. You may still own the property and pay taxes on it, but the authority is using it for their own purposes. Inverse condemnation can be a result of several factors, but in any case, the property owner needs an experienced attorney on their side who can help them gain just compensation for the partial or total take of their property. Our attorneys have the experience to ensure you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve.

Total Take/Partial Take

Sometimes, a government authority will only condemn a partial portion of your property, so that they won’t have to provide you with as much compensation. However, taking away a portion of your property can be detrimental to you as a business owner. If the partial portion condemned contributes substantially to your property’s value, it needs to be treated as a total take, and you need to receive a higher amount of compensation. Our attorneys can help in cases of both total and partial take and will fight for you to determine you are getting the compensation you deserve for your property.

Pennsylvania Eminent Domain: Public Condemnation of Private Property

Generally, eminent domain allows the government the authority to seize land for use in a development project for public purposes, as long as just compensation is provided to the original landowner. In Pennsylvania, the law states that a property is condemned when a legal authority “takes, injures or destroys” the property “by authority of law for a public purpose.”

Pennsylvania law sometimes allows condemnation in cases outside of public purposes projects. Private enterprise may lead to condemnation in the following cases:

  • The property owner doesn’t object to their land being condemned
  • The property owner’s preliminary objection isn’t successful
  • The property is abandoned, blighted, uninhabitable, dangerous, or a nuisance
  • The private enterprise is within a public purposes project
  • The property is going to be used for urban development or low- or mixed-income housing

The laws regarding proper condemnation procedures and how a property owner can object to the condemnation are complex, and just compensation is not always provided. Our attorneys help defend property owners, ensuring their rights are protected and securing the best possible outcome for them.

Eminent domain is important for allowing construction of public projects and infrastructure such as power lines, highways, and railroads. However, it is highly controversial because it allows the government to condemn private property, and it could be argued that the project may not actually be necessary for the public good or promote public interest. Today, Pennsylvania is facing the controversy of eminent domain in the face of the proposed Mariner East pipeline which would deliver explosive natural-gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale to Philadelphia.

It takes an experienced real estate lawyer to handle highly contentious eminent domain issues and to provide sound advice for property owners. We will help you explore your options, and if it is possible to fight the condemnation on your property, we will work with you to do so.

If your property has been condemned through eminent domain, contact Hoegen & Associates, P.C. now at 570-820-3332 for more information and to schedule a free initial consultation.

Hoegen & Associates, P.C.

152 S Franklin St

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

Fax: 570-820-3262

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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