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Eminent domain and the process if the owner objects

At times, it is necessary for a governmental body within the state of California to take private property for public use. This process is called eminent domain. When this happens, there are a number of steps prior to the actual taking of the property. Additionally, if the property owner objects to the process, this must be addressed as well.

If the property owner disagrees with the process, he or she must be given time in which to obtain legal counsel and to formulate a formal objection. This is known as fair notice. Additionally, prior to compensation being remitted to the property owner, a hearing will take place. This hearing is to determine if the property in question is to be taken for public use and if the amount being offered is actually just compensation.

Just compensation is determined based on the value of the property. Once an appraisal has been obtained, the government entity is required to negotiate the price for the property with the property owner. At times, numerous counteroffers are made. Furthermore, mediation is sometimes required to come to an agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, condemnation action may be taken.

California property owners who object to the taking of their property by eminent domain may seek legal recourse through the court system. This may be injunctive relief in the form of halting the process until the details have been settled. It may also be in the form of monetary relief in which the amount to be paid the property owner is analyzed and determined. Legal counsel can be beneficial in guiding property owners through the process and analyzing the details to make sure that the property owner's rights are protected.

Source: FindLaw, "Challenging Eminent Domain," accessed on Aug. 16, 2017

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