While the Fifth Amendment grants federal, state, and local governments the right to take private property for the sake of public use or purpose, such as widening a freeway, implementing light rail, or other public transportation or government-funded structures, there are rare instances in which a property owner may challenge the government's right to take a specific piece of property. In California, a government entity may take only the private property that is necessary to complete the project. This is known as the public use and necessity requirement.
If the government attempts to take more property than what is necessary for the public project, then the property owner could prevent the government from either using a specific piece of property, or could stop the project in its entirety.
The knowledgeable eminent domain attorneys at Peterson Law Group, P.C. can help property owners understand the best course of action for his or her circumstances, including a right to take challenge. Taking on the government can be intimidating and costly, but an experienced legal team will fight to protect a property owner's rights.
Challenging the right to take may be a beneficial strategy for the following reasons:
- A challenge may delay the proposed project, which allows a thorough valuation and assessment of the highest and best use of the property the government intends to take.
- A delay may become so costly that the government may offer a higher compensation to avoid further delays.
- If the government cannot meet its right to take requirements, a challenge can ultimately prevent the taking or the project in its entirety.
- Ensure the government is following procedure designed to mitigate and prevent damage to the environment, according to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
If the government is threatening to take your property, contact the California eminent domain attorneys at Peterson Law Group, P.C. to discuss your legal options for preventing the government from violating your rights. Call us at (213) 236-9720 to schedule a consultation.