Eminent Domain Valuation Claims

“Just Compensation” in Eminent Domain Valuation Claims

In Ohio, all proceedings to appropriate property by eminent domain are controlled by statute. The authority comes from the Ohio Constitution, but the procedure is spelled out in the statute. The taking authority must pay just compensation for the property. Unfortunately, the payment offered is often less than just. Our lawyers can force the taking authority to pay what is fair through an eminent domain valuation claim.

At least 30 days before filing a petition to appropriate private property, the condemning authority (referred to as the agency) shall provide written notice to the property owner of the agency’s intent to acquire the property. Together with the notice, or at least 30 days before filing a Petition for appropriation, the agency must provide the property owner with a written, good faith offer to purchase the property.

If the agency is unable to enter into a voluntary purchase of the property from the property owner, the agency may file a Petition for appropriation of the property. The Petition must be filed in the county in which the real property, or any part of it, is situated

A property owner who wishes to challenge the appropriation or dispute the amount of the purchase offer may respond to the Petition by filing an Answer in the court where the Petition was filed.

If the right of the agency to appropriate the property is challenged by the property owner, the court will set an immediate hearing to resolve that issue. In most cases, the burden of proof is on the agency seeking to appropriate the property, and the right to appropriate will be decided by the judge, not a jury.

If the right of the agency to appropriate the property is not challenged by the property owner, the court will set a date for trial to determine just compensation for the property. Just compensation will be decided by a jury. In this case, neither party has the burden of proof.

Clark, Perdue & List

If you have received notice that your property is subject to an eminent domain proceeding our Ohio eminent domain lawyers can help. Contact our Columbus Ohio law firm for a free consultation.

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