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Los Angeles Eminent Domain Attorneys

Getting Fair Market Value in Los Angeles Eminent Domain Cases

If the government damages or takes away your property under eminent domain, you have the right to receive fair market value, and this can turn out to be much higher than the government’s initial offer. It’s important to find an eminent domain lawyer who knows how to get the maximum valuation for your property. If you wish to contest the government’s right to take your property, your Los Angeles eminent domain attorney will advise you on your best course of action.

The Los Angeles area is home to several major public works projects, such as the Metro Rail. John S. Peterson is deeply knowledgeable about California law, and he understands the nuances of the eminent domain process. Our attorneys at Peterson Law Group PC have been aggressively protecting the rights of property owners in Los Angeles for over 35 years.

Our firm has been featured in U.S. News & World Report and selected for the Best Law Firms award by Best Lawyers. John S. Peterson has been featured as an attorney speaker on eminent domain on local television and national radio shows.

John is uniquely qualified to handle your Los Angeles eminent domain case, and he makes himself available to each client so that he can address all your questions or concerns.

Call Peterson Law Group PC at (213) 236-9720 to learn more today.

What Is Eminent Domain?

Eminent domain is the government’s power to condemn private property for public use. Under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, the government is required to provide “just compensation” for any property taken away from a private citizen for government use. Furthermore, the California State Constitution requires that private property may only be taken away or damaged for public use. In these cases, “just compensation” will be “ascertained by a jury” unless that right has been waived by the property owner.

To challenge the government’s right to take possession of private property under eminent domain, the property owner must demonstrate that that there is no public benefit that will result from the government’s actions.

The eminent domain process is outlined under California’s Code of Civil Procedure (CCP). As a property owner, you have the right to:

  • Be informed of the government’s specific need for your property, such as a public works project
  • Receive written notice about the government’s intent to take your property
  • Receive just compensation based on the fair market value of your property
  • Receive additional compensation for relocation assistance and other considerations
  • Challenge the government’s need to take your property
  • Seek your own appraisal
  • Negotiate fair market value
  • Have a jury trial if no agreement is reached
  • Appeal the results of a jury trial all the way up to the California State Supreme Court

What Is Fair Market Value Under Eminent Domain in Los Angeles?

Fair market value is the estimated highest price that the property would bring if offered on the open market for a reasonable period of time. Fair market value is not necessarily how much the government is willing to put forth in its initial offer. In fact, the initial offer is likely to be far below the actual value for private or commercial property in Los Angeles, which is home to some of the most lucrative real estate in the world.

Factors to consider when appraising fair market value include:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Location
  • Neighborhood trends
  • The most advantageous and profitable potential use

Additional factors to consider when calculating the fair compensation that owners are entitled to when private property is damaged or destroyed by the government include:

  • Inventory
  • Equipment that cannot be removed
  • Value of business goodwill
  • Severance damages
  • Interest
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Appraisal fees
  • Relocation fees

When Does the Government Have the Right To Take Property Under Eminent Domain?

Conveyance means transfer of property by sale, lease, gift, franchise, or otherwise. In California, eminent domain conveyance must be for public benefit. The government is prohibited from conveying your property to a private person. Projects that have been deemed worthy of public domain include:

  • Schools
  • Seaports
  • Water-related facilities
  • Common carriers
  • Energy-related projects
  • Infrastructure
  • Communications-related projects
  • Wastewater-related facilities
  • Recovery from natural disaster
  • Public works improvement
  • Public health
  • Highways, rails, and public transit
  • Blight removal
  • Public housing
  • Flood control
  • Private utility systems
  • Reservoirs and dams
  • Parks
  • Endangered species habitats
  • Airports
  • Public buildings

Entities that may be entitled to conveyance under public domain include:

  • State agencies
  • Special districts
  • School districts
  • Cities
  • Counties
  • Public utilities
  • Redevelopment agencies
  • Quasi-public agencies

Getting Fair Compensation for Your Property

You worked hard to build your business and develop the property you own. No one should be allowed to take that away from you without providing fair compensation. At Peterson Law Group PC, we understand how much your property means to you, and we’re here to help.

Call (213) 236-9720 to speak with our Los Angeles eminent domain lawyers today.

Additional Information

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