It’s an ugly truth that there are many cases when the government can decide that it is in the public interest to divest you of your property.
Now, the rule is that you are supposed to be given a fair and appropriate compensation. But, who is deciding what is fair?
Even if you could be persuaded that the deal is fair financially, you may not want to move. What do you do then?
In this article I will go over some tips to help you through the process to make sure your rights are intact and you can come out of it with something acceptable.
Here are some tips on how to deal with having your land or property seized.
1 – Lawyer Up
Before you do anything you will need to find yourself a lawyer. Not just any lawyer, but attorneys that specialize in eminent domain.
These things can progress very quickly and you may find yourself or your family attorney unprepared. The sooner you have an eminent domain attorney the better.
They deal with these cases all the time and know what papers to file and when they need to be filed.
They will also make sure that you are getting a fair deal if you do need to move ahead and sell to the government. You definitely do not want to be negotiating on your own.
2 – Challenge the Right to Take
Your lawyer will be doing this for you, but it helps to understand the process. To avoid having your land taken you’ll need to challenge the fact that it is even necessary.
This puts the government on the defensive and they will have to prove that they have an adequate public purpose for the taking. There are times when the government can’t prove that what they are taking is actually necessary. This usually happens when they are asking for more land than they actually need for the stated purpose like expanding a highway for instance.
3 – Start Shopping for a New House
Once the process begins, there is a great chance that the state will win and proceed with the forfeiture of your property. The idea is to delay this as long as possible and to get as much money as you can for the move.
Unfortunately, there are not many cases where the plaintiff, in this case you, wins and is able to keep their property.
Use the time you have wisely and start looking for a new home. The more prepared you are for the move, the better. Once the decision comes down, you don’t want to be stuck holding the bag. This may not need to be as unpleasant an experience as you think unless you have to find an inadequate house in a hurry.
Set yourself up to be happy with your new place that you will inevitably be needing to move into.
They say you can’t fight City Hall, so it stands to reason that the same applies to Uncle Sam.