Austin Eminent Domain Lawyer
Texas is rich in natural resources, and as public infrastructure expands, the government may take private property throughout the state to support these services. However, if the government wants to take your land, it will need to provide you with just compensation under the terms of eminent domain.
Austin landowners facing eminent domain have certain rights, and if you have to obtain just compensation from the government, you need someone on your side to protect these rights. Marrs Ellis & Hodge LLP has fought for the rights of hundreds of Texas landowners, ensuring their recovery constitutes just compensation.
Why Choose Us
- Over the past 10 years, our firm has successfully represented many Texas landowners. We have handled litigation involving every type of property.
- Our attorneys have extensive courtroom experience, representing clients from private individuals to trusts, estates, and Fortune 500 companies.
- Our firm is designed to handle high-stakes property litigation, and we prepare every case for trial. This level of preparation provides leverage throughout the settlement process.
How Does Eminent Domain Work in Texas?
When the government decides it needs your land to carry out a public purpose, the agency will usually send you a letter in the mail requesting to survey your land and make an offer. You can choose to accept, negotiate, or reject the offer.
If negotiations fail or you reject the offer, the agency will file a condemnation lawsuit against you to collect the property. During condemnation proceedings, three appointed landowners known as special commissioners will review all evidence and determine the appropriate value of your property and damages to your remaining property.
There are a number of important considerations to keep in mind during eminent domain litigation. You should not accept the first settlement offer, since it may be lower than the land’s actual worth and may not include damages. You should also contact an Austin eminent domain attorney to represent your best interests during the lawsuit. Your attorney can provide several benefits to your case, from negotiation skills to access to expert appraisers who can provide an unbiased evaluation of your land’s value.
Who Can Take Land Using Eminent Domain?
Eminent domain is a concept that comes from the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 17 of the Texas Constituion. Essentially, eminent domain allows the government to take any land it needs to build public infrastructure, as long as it provides just compensation to the landowner. Both the government and public utility companies can exercise eminent domain.
According to Texas Property Chapter Code 21, these condemning authorities must have a valid reason for taking your land and the ultimate purpose for the seizure must benefit the public good. For example, the government taking land to build a new school or develop a new power system would be for a public use. An agency taking land to benefit private interests, however, is not a valid reason to exercise eminent domain.
Speak to an Austin Eminent Domain Lawyer
Your Constitutional rights protect you from unlawful taking of property—and if the government wants your Austin land, you deserve just compensation. The Texas eminent domain lawyers at Marrs Ellis & Hodge LLP are here to help you protect your rights from the government. We will fight tenaciously for what you are rightfully entitled to.
Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options.