What Is Just Compensation In Eminent Domain?
In its simplest terms, just compensation in eminent domain provides for a property owner to receive an equitable award from a government authority which acquires his or her property.
Just compensation is the right of every American citizen and it’s protected by the United States Constitution as well as the California Constitution. Just Compensation however, is a provision of the law, not a concrete measurement.
The mechanism by which just compensation is realized is Fair Market Value, and the venue is the court. Another important concept in eminent domain is Highest and Best Use, which is defined as a parcel’s greatest value based on its location and neighborhood, legal considerations such as zoning laws, and practical concerns.
The value of a condemned property may be affected by the project itself, as in the case of a partial taking, where the remainder of the property could be injured as a result of the condemnation. A qualified real estate appraiser is critical to calculating your property’s fair market value. The current value of your home may not reflect just compensation in a condemnation action.
California law protects property owners through a rule that fair market value in eminent domain is determined by the amount of an offer a property owner would likely receive if the property was sold voluntarily and on his or her own terms. When your property is being taken, the agency may assess its value at a lower price than it’s worth under the concept of just compensation.
An eminent domain attorney can assist you in ensuring that these benchmarks are accurately applied. An experienced attorney’s assistance will provide you with assurance that the California eminent domain laws are applied with the utmost integrity to your case.
Contact A Sherman Oaks Condemnation Attorney
If your property is the subject of eminent domain proceedings, assert your constitutional rights. Contact a Los Angeles-area condemnation lawyer at the Horowitz Law Firm. We handle cases across the entire state of California. For more information, please also visit our Eminent Domain Blog.