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Charleston Construction Defects Lawyer / Blog / Condemnation Dispute / Steps to Take when Facing Eminent Domain

Steps to Take when Facing Eminent Domain


No one expects the government to step in and say that they are taking over a home for government purposes. For example, the government sometimes has the right to seize possession of a home to build schools, roads, or as in some of the most recent cases, an oil pipeline.

These actions are perfectly legal, as long as the government follows the proper procedure. As a homeowner, though, that does not mean that you do not have rights. Below, our Daniel Island construction dispute and condemnation lawyer explains what those are, and the steps to take.

You Have the Right to Just Compensation 

Under the South Carolina Eminent Domain Procedure Act, as well as the Fifth Amendment, the government does have the right to condemn property. To condemn a property does not necessarily mean a home is uninhabitable. It only means the government has the right to seize it if they need the land for public purposes. However, there are certain procedures the government must follow, including providing you with proper compensation.

It is critical to work with a condemnation lawyer before accepting any compensation from the government. Once you accept, you cannot go back for more in the future, even if you were unfairly compensated. A lawyer can advise on your case, including the amount of compensation you are entitled to.

Document Everything on the Property 

Before the government seizes your property, they will send many appraisers to the property to obtain a value for it. These appraisers will inspect the property and identify certain areas that can increase or decrease its value. You should also walk around the entire property and collect your own documentation. Take photographs of the inside and outside of your home and the entire property. Also note any areas that will affect the property’s value.

You should also hire your own appraiser who can provide you with a third party evaluation of the home’s value. Comparing your own appraisal with the government’s can help you and your lawyer determine if they are offering fair compensation.

The Right to Challenge 

You have the right to challenge the eminent domain. This is a separate legal proceeding that you must initiate within 30 days after receiving the condemnation notice. A condemnation lawyer can help you through this process to ensure you have the best chance of a positive outcome.

You also have the right to negotiate the compensation the government is offering. Again, it is important to work with a lawyer who will know how to aggressively negotiate for the compensation you deserve.

Our Construction Dispute and Condemnation Lawyer in Daniel Island Can Protect Your Rights 

Learning that the government wants to seize your property is incredibly stressful. At Fuller Law Firm, our Daniel Island construction dispute and condemnation lawyer can make the process easier by informing you of your rights and making sure they are upheld. Call us now at 843-277-0013 or chat with us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can protect you and your home.




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