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Eminent domain: what you need to know about constructive takings

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2023 | Eminent Domain |

Regardless of how hard you’ve worked to secure your property and make improvements to it, it could all be taken from you by the government through the process of eminent domain. The government is allowed to exercise eminent domain when your property, once taken from you and after providing you with just compensation for that property, will be converted to public use in some fashion.

If you’re facing this situation, you’ll probably have the ability to negotiate and litigate the amount of just compensation that you’re to be provided. But what if the government hasn’t actually taken your property but its taking of a nearby property has negatively impacted your ability to use your land?

In these instances, the government will claim that it hasn’t effectuated taking your property. But you might be able to successfully argue otherwise.

Constructive takings under eminent domain law

Generally speaking, the government takes property when it deprives you of your natural use of the land. This can occur in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Regulatory takings: Here, the government imposes a regulation that is so restrictive that it impacts the value of your land or your ability to use the land. In order for it to be deemed a taking, you’ll have to show that the regulation is so burdensome that it has essentially deprived you of reasonable economic use of your land or the economic value of your land.
  • Access takings: If your home or business is near a busy road that is getting upgraded, there’s a possibility that the government may need to seize your access to other roadways in order to make their improvements. If your property becomes landlocked, meaning that it can’t access any other roads, the government has effectively taken your property, and you should be compensated accordingly.
  • Indirect takings: In far too many instances, the government only takes part of a landowner’s property, but the portion that it takes negatively impacts the remainder of the property. If this taking causes significant losses in the financial value or economic benefits of the remaining land, you’ll be justified in seeking additional compensation from the government.
  • Easement takings: Here, the government takes a portion of your property for the purposes of using it when needed, such as for ensuring proper drainage. While these easements should minimally affect your property, it really depends on the circumstances, as a newly created easement may cause problems to your business or your residence.

There are many other types of takings that can occur. What’s important to remember is that you bear the burden of taking action if you feel like an unjustified taking has occurred or you haven’t been properly compensated for it. If you fail to fully consider your options and take appropriate action, you could be left with significant financial losses.

Legal help is here when you need it

Eminent domain cases can be extraordinarily complicated. But you need to confront these issues head on rather than sitting on them if you want to achieve the best outcome possible under the circumstances. That’s why you might want a strong legal advocate on your side who knows the law and how to fight for the outcome that you deserve.

Hopefully, with this kind of advocacy on your side, you can protect your rights, your interests and your future, and you can avoid being taken advantage of by your government.