Eminent Domain and Condemnation Cases
Private property can be taken for “public use” which may include a broad range of uses, such as taking land for a highway, airport, school, park, industrial park, public building, or infrastructure project like a sewage or pipeline project. When private land is taken by condemnation, which is the same thing as taking property by eminent domain, the government can only take the amount of land necessary for the use which it proposes. In some cases, a private landowner in Tennessee may be able to prevent a taking altogether or to reduce the quantity of land taken by the government by proving that the government does not need all or some of the land which it seeks to condemn. The Nashville condemnation lawyers at Pepper Law, PLC can help you whether your case is in Nashville or any other part of Tennessee.
Under the Constitution of Tennessee as well as the United States Constitution, when the government takes property by condemnation or eminent domain, it must pay “just compensation” for the property.
Just compensation in Tennessee means the fair market value of your property. Fair market value can be quite subjective: Two certified real estate appraisers might arrive at significantly different market values for the same property. Retaining legal counsel with access to, and familiarity with, credible and persuasive appraisers is important in an eminent domain case. Do not expect that the offer made to you by the government for your property will be fair. If you are not able to reach a fair settlement with the government for your property through negotiation, you are entitled to have the fair value determined by a jury or a judge.
In some cases, even when the government takes only a part of a landowner’s property and pays fair value for that part, still, the land that is left may be worth less. In Tennessee, an owner is said to incur what are referred to as “incidental damages” when the value of the owner’s remaining property is worth less. For example, if only part of your property is taken, but the government locates an unattractive building or road on it, your remaining property may well be worth less. The Nashville condemnation attorneys at Pepper Law, PLC can help you obtain incidental damages if your case is in Nashville or any other part of Tennessee.
If you do not accept the government’s offer and it proceeds with filing a petition with the court, the government will still have to deposit into court the amount of money equal to what it has determined is the fair market value of your property. The court can direct that the deposited funds be released to you before a decision has been made at trial about the fair market value of your property.
We recognize that, in many cases, it is in a property owner’s best interest to have our fee be contingent on the outcome of the case. If we are willing to accept an eminent domain or condemnation case on a contingency fee basis, we will base our percentage fee only on the amount we recover for you which is over and above the amount that the government offered to pay you.
Pepper Law, PLC will provide you with an initial consultation at no charge if you have a condemnation case or eminent domain case in Nashville, Middle Tennessee, or any other part of Tennessee.