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What are my odds of winning a fight against an eminent domain action?

It can be extremely upsetting to receive notice that your land is the target of an eminent domain action. After all, every piece of land is unique, and no amount of money can fully compensate you for having to uproot your family and find somewhere else to live – especially if your land has been in your family for several generations.

With all of these thoughts in mind, you might be considering the possibility of lawyering up and challenging the action. What is the likelihood that you would successfully be able to defeat the action and keep your land?

What makes eminent domain challenges so difficult

The unfortunate truth is that eminent domain actions by the government are notoriously difficult to defeat. Before filing for an eminent domain taking, the government must show how their proposed taking will benefit the public at large or is necessary for a compelling public purpose. It can be difficult to make the opposite case in a court of law.

That is not to say that a challenge to an eminent domain action is impossible. Sometimes landowners are able to present compelling evidence to show that the government’s reasoning is insufficient to justify the taking.

However, in these situations, the victory can sometimes be short-lived. If the government needs your land badly enough, they could fix whatever weakness their original action had and file it again.

What could I do instead?

Sometimes, instead of preparing for a legal battle challenging the constitutionality of the taking, a person’s time and resources are better spent making sure that they get as much as they possibly can out of the taking.

If you know that an eminent domain action has been filed against your property, you can work with an attorney to get an accurate appraisal of the value of your property. The government cannot take your land without giving you fair and just compensation for it. This means that, if the amount offered to you is insufficient to compensate you for the land’s true value, you can challenge the offer.

Losing land that is rightfully yours is devastating, even with monetary compensation. Make sure that you at least are getting the most compensation that you can so that you can find a good place to take your family to.