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Eminent Domain

Eminent Domain in California—an Area of Expertise for the Riverside County, CA Law Firm Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger

Our real estate lawyers serve Riverside, San Bernardino and the surrounding areas in eminent domain cases

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 19 of the California Constitution require government to pay property owners “just compensation” when the government takes property for a public purpose. The practice of eminent domain law in California is devoted to ensuring property owners receive just compensation. The Riverside County, CA law firm of Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger has top-rated eminent domain attorneys with the expertise to maximize your recovery.

Who can take property and under what circumstances?

Local, state and federal governmental agencies, entities and special districts can take property for a public use. The obvious public uses are roads, utility lines, parks, firehouses, etc. However, the courts give government broad power to condemn property even if the public benefit is indirect. The eminent domain lawyers at Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger, a law corporation, have been successful throughout California in challenging whether a project has a public use but warn this strategy is an uphill battle.

What is the process of eminent domain in California?

If your property in California is being considered for eminent domain, the taking entity appraises your property and makes an offer based upon the appraisal. After holding a public hearing to adopt a “resolution of necessity” to acquire your property, the entity files an eminent domain case in court and deposits the entity’s estimate of the just compensation into the court. At this point, if you do not accept the government’s offer, you may hire your own appraiser. Negotiations occur between the entity and the property owner until 20 days before trial. If you and the entity cannot agree on the price, there is a trial by jury. The jury enters a verdict determining the fair market value of the property. The entity must pay the judgment within 30 days following the trial.

Why would I need to pay an attorney if the government is going to pay me for my property?

The real estate attorneys at Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger help you get the true fair market value for your property. The government’s appraiser and your appraiser may have significantly different opinions about the value of your property. In addition, there may be additional factors for which you can be compensated. For example, you can receive compensation for the property and its improvements, the value of leaseholds, and lost profits if there is a business on the property. In California, you can even be compensated for loss of business “goodwill.” What might appear to be a good offer on first blush could, in fact, be a gross underestimate of what your property is worth. Your eminent domain attorney at Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger ensures you receive adequate compensation for your loss no matter where in California you are located.

If you are facing an eminent domain action in California, contact Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger, an eminent domain law firm that protects your constitutional rights to just compensation.

Before you accept that government offer of compensation, contact Schlecht, Shevlin & Shoenberger at their Palm Springs office at 760-320-7161 or online. Serving San Bernardino and Riverside Counties and all areas of Rancho Cucamonga in eminent domain actions.

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