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FAQs About Eminent Domain


All property owners in South Carolina may be impacted by eminent domain law at some point. Eminent domain is a legal process in which the federal, state, or local government can seize private property for the use of the public, but government entities must provide compensation to the property owner in these cases. Navigating the eminent domain laws can be complicated, and it is not always easy as a property owner to understand your rights. Below, our Daniel Island condemnation lawyer outlines some of the most frequently answered questions about eminent domain, and the answers to them.

What are the Eminent Domain Laws? 

Eminent domain in South Carolina is outlined under state law. For proper compensation, government entities can seize private property if they need it for public use. The government is allowed to exercise eminent domain for a number of reasons, including the construction of public infrastructure such as bridges, roads, and other public facilities. If a property poses a risk to public safety or health, such as if a property is contaminated, the government can also use eminent domain to seize it.

Will the Government File a Lawsuit Against Me? 

Most eminent domain cases start with the government entity making an official offer to the owner of the property to purchase the premises. If the property owner refuses to accept the offer, the government entity can file a lawsuit against the owner to seize the property.

What is Fair Market Value? 

Government entities must make a fair offer to the property owner when exercising eminent domain. Fair market value of the property typically dictates what is fair compensation. Fair market value refers to the amount the average purchaser would agree to pay for the home for the property, after taking in certain considerations such as the location and condition of the premises and other factors. Most often, the government will hire an appraiser to obtain the fair market value of a property, and property owners can also reach out to their own independent appraiser.

Can I Challenge Eminent Domain? 

Property owners can challenge eminent domain on two main grounds. The first is if the property owner believes the government is seizing the property for their own personal use, and not because it is in the interest of the public. This is a violation of the Constitution’s ‘takings clause’ and provides a valid reason to challenge eminent domain.

Property owners can also challenge eminent domain if they do not believe the government is offering fair compensation for the premises. In these instances, the property owner may have to go to court where a judge will determine the fair market value and hold the government responsible for paying it.

Our Condemnation Lawyer in Mt. Pleasant Can Protect Your Rights 

If you have been notified that the government wants to exercise eminent domain on your property, it is important to know that you have rights. At Fuller Law Firm, our Mt. Pleasant condemnation lawyer can advise you on what they are, help you through the process, and answer all of your questions. Call us now at 843-277-0013 or chat with us online to request a consultation and to learn more about your legal options.



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