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Eminent Domain & Condemnation
Land owners expect to use their property for personal or commercial reasons. However, the government can legally take your property for public uses such as roads, public facilities, highway construction, land development, sewage and otherwise to benefit the greater public community. If the government is taking your property, a knowledgeable attorney may be able to help you bring or defend against an eminent domain lawsuit. A knowledgeable attorney may be able to help you get fair value and just compensation for your property (and the value of your abutting properties), or may help stop the government's condemnation and taking of your property. An attorney can help you decide whether to take the government's pro tanto award (compensation offer) based on its evaluation of your property or whether to seek additional compensation.
Restrictive or Regulatory Taking
An attorney can also assist you in obtaining just compensation when the government restricts your property land use. Sometimes the government seizure is not physical. Instead, the government limits the use of your property or creates zoning laws that render it useless for your intended purpose. For example, if the government puts regulations on the property that makes it impossible for your business to generate an income, an attorney may be able to assist you. Sometimes the government could even limit access to your property or improperly refuses to grant permit or licenses which could adversely affect the property's value or economic use as well.
Civil or Criminal Forfeiture
The police could sometimes seize property that is used for illegal purposes without providing just compensation for the property. Criminal forfeiture occurs if the property was purchased with profits from a crime and civil forfeiture rests on the idea that the crime occurred by the property. An attorney may be able to assist you with getting your property returned to you.