Condemnation exercised through the government’s power of eminent domain is the right to take private property for public use. The city for example, may propose a public works project like widening a road or reconstructing an intersection, and with that proposal could come the need for some of your land. However, citizens are protected by federal and state laws which provide that private property shall not be “taken for public use without just compensation.”
What Are Your Rights?
Learning your rights is the best, first step you can take when being faced with condemnation. Even though government can take your property for public use, it doesn’t have the right to unilaterally set the price it will pay for your property. It must follow accepted appraisal standards in determining the fair market value of your property and comply with other legal procedures. If a condemning authority's offer for your property seems low or you have questions about the condemnation process, it may be in your interest to consult with an attorney before agreeing to the terms presented to you.
William F. (Fritz) Paulus is a Portland, Oregon lawyer who is a former real estate negotiator with Metro, Portland's regional government, and is experienced in analyzing and reviewing appraisals and negotiating fair market value real estate transactions.
Call 503-224-1773 or send me a message.