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Old 01-29-2009, 12:12 AM   #1
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Bitten by the eminent domain dog


Has anyone out there had your property affected by eminent domain or right of way land aquisition?
UDOT is getting ready to take part of my property to widen the road and I would appreciate input as far as what to expect and how best to prepare for the whole evil process!
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:39 AM   #2
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Bitten by the eminent domain dog


Get a lawyer who specializes in the matter.
Ron

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Old 01-29-2009, 05:06 AM   #3
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Bitten by the eminent domain dog


My father went through the same thing. He had 750 acres located at the intersection of the 2 main interstates. UDOT said they HAD to have the 40 prime acres at the corner. He refused to sell so they claimed eminent domain. He went to court, but in the end still lost it for less than $500/acre. That wasn't compensation, that was confiscation. The land is currently valued at $6M. They will argue that it is for the good and safety of the community. And though this may have validity, I still see no reason why they should not be required to pay fair market price.
Good luck with your battle.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:59 AM   #4
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Bitten by the eminent domain dog


We have been undergoing a struggle to change the eminent domain laws in our state after the city tried to take property, then sell it to developers. The "blighted" properties were auto repair shops, a glass shop, etc, and were well maintained. The owners have put up a really effective fight, and we may soon get the laws changed.
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:41 AM   #5
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Bitten by the eminent domain dog


I lost some of my side yard to a recent widening of the street. It was their easment so I was not even consulted. When it is an easment, there's no sense in even trying to fight it.

I've always heard one thing about eminent domain. That is that the first offer is usually the best offer and they get lower from there. Personally, I'm with Ron on this...Consult an attorney. You will lose the property, but the challenge is losing it for a reasonable price.

It really is a shame that the lack of foresight of city, county, and state planners places financial and emotional burden directly on the backs of property owners.
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:32 AM   #6
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Bitten by the eminent domain dog


Take a deep breath, it's not the end of the world. There are administrative processes that have to be followed and they depend on how the law in your area is written, so check them out. Get online and look up your state/local/municipal laws about eminent domain.

Google "Eminent Domain" and your city name: you may get some info, references, activists to contact, etc. Contact your state's bar association, they will give you the names of attorneys who do that sort of thing.

Like KC said, evaluate their first offer SERIOUSLY. Don't turn it down (after talking to an attorney) just because you're pissed about the process.
Good Luck!
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:10 AM   #7
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Bitten by the eminent domain dog


My property is adjacent to the NJ Turnpike which is undergoing a widening project. I'm going to loose about 2,000sq.ft. from my yard. Several properties/houses were bought out and the owners did very well from what I've heard and read in the papers; they settled without lawyer's. I'm still waiting for their proposal.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:45 PM   #8
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Bitten by the eminent domain dog


yeah rusty, I am also awaiting the appraisal and offer. I am only going to lose about 800 Sq. feet but that is alot when youre talking about your only buffer zone between a five lane highway and home sweet home.
Let me know how it turns out?
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:14 PM   #9
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Bitten by the eminent domain dog


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Originally Posted by Jer View Post
yeah rusty, I am also awaiting the appraisal and offer. I am only going to lose about 800 Sq. feet but that is alot when youre talking about your only buffer zone between a five lane highway and home sweet home.
Let me know how it turns out?
Sure, I'll keep you posted

A 5 lane highway? That's a bike path here. The turnpike is currently 6 lanes; they're going to make it 12. I've had about a dozen lawyers contact me but I haven't responded to any.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:25 PM   #10
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Bitten by the eminent domain dog


Make very sure your not paying for any legal assistance.

1) You can't will with todays laws.
2) You may get stuck with a hefty bill when you eventually lose.

Just my experience with several others along the same road many years ago. We all spent around $3,000 each on the law firm that stalked us to sue. We got nada.
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:08 PM   #11
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Bitten by the eminent domain dog


Best thing to do is to just sit down and talk with them. If possible not the person doing the initial contact. Try to get to their supervisor. The person in the field is just an employee or contract manager doing what they have been asked to do.

If it is for roadway expansion, try to negotiate access points onto your property which would allow you to develop it later. If it is for utilities (water, sewer, or gas) try to get them to put taps for you as well. If the local authority is doing it (county or city) get them also to wave any hook up fees or development fees for the future. This should be easily done, especially if you feel you are getting lowballed.

But remember, they can only pay the appraised price (with a little bit of wiggle room) of the property. What one THINKS it is worth compared to what it is ACTUALLY (market value) worth. They are not pulling numbers out of their @ss. Ask them for their apprasials and compairsons. They should have those for you.

Just remember, getting angry or being rude makes things worse and lawyering up puts you in the negative from the beginning.
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:24 PM   #12
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Bitten by the eminent domain dog


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Originally Posted by thx10 View Post
Best thing to do is to just sit down and talk with them. If possible not the person doing the initial contact. Try to get to their supervisor. The person in the field is just an employee or contract manager doing what they have been asked to do.

If it is for roadway expansion, try to negotiate access points onto your property which would allow you to develop it later. If it is for utilities (water, sewer, or gas) try to get them to put taps for you as well. If the local authority is doing it (county or city) get them also to wave any hook up fees or development fees for the future. This should be easily done, especially if you feel you are getting lowballed.

But remember, they can only pay the appraised price (with a little bit of wiggle room) of the property. What one THINKS it is worth compared to what it is ACTUALLY (market value) worth. They are not pulling numbers out of their @ss. Ask them for their apprasials and compairsons. They should have those for you.

Just remember, getting angry or being rude makes things worse and lawyering up puts you in the negative from the beginning.
Good advice,

I was thinking the same thing about lawyering up; after it's all said and done, I figured I'd be in the same place (maybe less) after they got their cut.

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