You Have Rights. Our Attorneys Can Help You.
Eminent domain is the ability of a government authority to seize private property when that property is needed for a project that will benefit the public. The government must then provide the property owner with just compensation. The government can claim a total take, which is a seizing of the entire piece of property, or a partial take, in which they seize only a part of the property.
It can be intimidating when a government authority tells you that your land is needed for a private project. You may feel as if you have no choice but to give up your property. But remember, you have rights as the property owner. Eminent domain law is very strict, because Pennsylvania law recognizes how detrimental it can be for a person or business to lose their land. You need an experienced eminent domain lawyer on your side who can examine your case and determine if the taking of your land is fair. Hoegen & Associates, P.C. in Wilkes-Barre, PA, can help.
The Condemning Entity Must Satisfy The Following Criteria:
- The project for which they are using the land must be used for authorized public use.
- A thorough investigation needs to be conducted to ensure the amount of land requested is necessary.
- The condemning authority needs to make an intelligent, informed judgment.
If the entity has not satisfied these criteria, then they cannot take your land. However, it can be difficult to prove on your own that the entity didn’t follow these criteria. This is where a lawyer from Hoegen & Associates can help you.
Did the Condemning Entity Consider All Alternatives?
As part of the investigation and making an intelligent, informed judgment, the condemning entity must consider all alternatives to taking your property. Is there another piece of land that they could use? Could they instead just take part of your property instead of the entire piece of land? Is your land in particular 100% necessary for the project? Our lawyers can help determine if there are other options the condemning entity could consider, and if there are, that means they did not conduct their investigation thoroughly and should not have the right to your land.
Is the Condemning Entity Taking More Property Than Needed?
How much land is needed for the public use project at present and in the reasonably near future? Is all of the land that the condemning entity is requesting truly going to be used? If not, then the entity is asking for too much. Our attorneys are highly experienced with handling eminent domain cases, and we can determine the amount of property reasonably needed by the condemning entity. We can fight for either a partial take rather than a total take, or for the entity to abandon the seizing completely.
What Can You Do if Your Property is Seized?
The only way to fight a seizing of your property under eminent domain is to file preliminary objections. These preliminary objections must be filed within 30 days of your receiving the notice of condemnation, unless the court sees cause to extend this deadline. However, you should not undergo this procedure alone. You need an experienced attorney who thoroughly understands eminent domain law to represent you and protect your best interests.
If you have received a notice of condemnation from the state or another authority, contact Hoegen & Associates immediately by calling 570-820-3332. Remember, the judgment of the condemning authority is not absolute. You have rights, and those rights need to be protected. We look forward to helping you.