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Eminent Domain: What You Are Entitled To


The government’s acquisition agent will always explain that the offer being made is based on an appraiser’s determination of fair market value. However, the property owner should remember – the appraiser determining fair market value was hired by the government agency.

Another appraiser could have a different and significantly higher opinion of fair market value. However eminent domain law normally permits the government to rely only on its appraisal during the negotiation process, even if an owner believes his or her property is worth more.

Independent Valuation Of Your Los Angeles Property

It could be a costly mistake for a property owner to accept the government appraisal without further exploration of the potential disparity in values that is at stake. An experienced Los Angeles eminent domain attorney will work closely with a qualified real estate appraiser to assist you in arriving at just compensation.

Court-Supervised Eminent Domain Proceedings

Peterson Law Group can assist you in dealing with the inequality in bargaining positions, which often may only be possible through a court proceeding. Settling without evaluating this option could be a costly decision.

After the agency and the owner get beyond the initial negotiation, the eminent domain condemnation process is commenced in and supervised by the court. In court the property owner may seek just compensation that will reflect opinions of fair market value from appraisers hired by both sides, not only the agency side.

Recovering Compensation In Condemnation In Los Angeles

An experienced eminent domain lawyer can help you receive just compensation for the total value of all interests in the property that may suffer condemnation. This may include real estate, business goodwill and trade fixtures and equipment. In the case of the condemnation of one’s home or business, the owner may also be entitled to relocation benefits.

Compensation For Business Goodwill Loss

In an eminent domain case resulting in the government’s acquisition of a business location, the result will be the displacement of the business. In some cases, the business will be able to successfully relocate. In other cases, despite the business owner’s best efforts to relocate, the business may not be able to relocate. An experienced California attorney can represent the business owner in seeking recovery for loss of business goodwill.

Business goodwill is the intangible value of a business after deducting the value of all tangible assets from the total business value. In loss of business goodwill, unlike in a real estate case in eminent domain, the business owner has the burden of proof to establish the existence of goodwill, that the goodwill loss could not have been avoided by a successful relocation and that the goodwill loss is not already being compensated for in the form of relocation benefits. Entitlement is tried in court without a jury. Once entitlement to goodwill loss is established, the amount of goodwill loss is determined by a jury with no burden of proof. With the differing levels of proof required in goodwill loss cases, experience of the eminent domain attorney is of critical importance.

Relocation Benefits

Businesses forced to relocate due to eminent domain are entitled to relocation benefits to facilitate a proper move of the business and its equipment and inventory. Relocation benefits are not technically compensation in the eminent domain proceeding. Rather, they are payments that arise under the Government Code and under a highly technical and detailed set of regulations. An experienced attorney can assist you in ensuring receipt of all relocation benefits to which you are entitled under the law.

Contact Peterson Law Group

Call (213) 236-9720 us through this website to learn how we can help ensure you receive proper compensation when eminent domain has targeted your property.

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