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Eminent Domain Attorney for Los Angeles

What is eminent domain?

When the government takes private property or gives it to another party for the purpose of civic or public use, this is referred to as eminent domain. The government has within their authority the ability to take private land for public use whether it is owned individually or is occupied by a business. When private property is transferred over to the government, this is known as condemnation. Sometimes the projects that they have will require land that is already in use. If the government finds that the property is necessary for the greater good they can choose to take it from the individual even against their wishes. This is often seen when Highways are being built, for the construction of public utilities or to lay down a railroad track.

They are not able to take property for just any reason and it will need to be for public use or benefit. The authority for eminent domain is set forth in federal and state laws, as well as the U.S. Constitution. The federal government has authority, along with the local government. The laws of eminent domain can vary according to location. In California, it is a requirement that the government needs to provide a fair level of compensation that is reasonable at what the current value of the property would be. In many situations the government has been found to offer a value that is below the market price and put the property owner at a disadvantage.

How does it relate to a business?

This can be a setback for individuals that have built up the property, made repairs or invested a lot in their purchase of the real estate. In these situations there is still something that can be done and the Los Angeles business attorney at our firm may be able to achieve a better outcome for you. If your business is taken through the process of eminent domain, it may cause you to face a significant loss. You likely made changes to the property so that it met your needs and you may have built up a clientele in the area. Having to change locations can be enough trouble already but this becomes a further nuisance when the government offers you a lower value than what you would receive if you sold your property on the market.

The Process

The following are some of the steps that may occur, but each case can differ and only some of them may be used depending on the case. Eminent domain begins with you being contacted by the government where they inform you of the interest that they have in the property. The property will be appraised and an offer will be made. A notice will be given prior to the hearing which will be held for the purpose of adopting resolution of necessity to obtain the property by means of eminent domain. Until the resolution of necessity, an eminent domain proceeding cannot be commenced by a public entity. The case will be filed with the court and served to the property owner. The amount of reasonable compensation will be given to the court, along with a motion for early possession of the real estate. The discovery process will occur and both sides will have the property appraised then exchange reports with each other. A settlement may be reached and if not, a trial may need to take place.

Why You Want an Attorney Present

If you are going through the process of eminent domain you want an attorney to be there along the way for a number of reasons. One of these is so that they can have the property value assessed aside from the government's assessment. They will also be able to be present throughout the process of court proceedings. If you end up being forced to relocate, they can seek benefits for this inconvenience. Moving a business needs to be done right and under the Government Code there may be the ability to obtain benefits for this. The government may not take into account all of the financial ramifications and this may be demonstrated through litigation proceedings. An attorney will be able to protect your rights, keep the government accountable to the law and make sure you receive fair compensation. To avoid being taken advantage of or shorthanded work with an attorney that understands the different aspects of eminent domain.

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Matthews Law Firm, Inc. - Los Angeles Business Lawyer
Located at 1801 Century Park East, 24th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90067. View Map
Phone: (800) 449-4850.
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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.