When the government decides that it wants to take a piece of land, it will have to undergo a number of steps to lawfully take that property. The laws of eminent domain allow the government to turn private property into public use, but the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the government from conducting unlawful takings, and if you are facing a condemnation lawsuit, you deserve just compensation for your land. However, the United States government may not offer you a fair amount—which is a violation of your Constitutional rights.
The attorneys at Marrs Ellis & Hodge LLP can protect Houston landowners during the condemnation process. Our firm focuses on high-stakes property litigation, and our attorneys will work diligently to represent your best interests. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation.
Why Choose Us
- Our firm represents multiple types of landowners, defending every type of property. Whether you are an individual property owner or business, we can handle your claim.
- Although many claims settle out of court, our attorneys always prepare each case for trial. We are willing to pursue your case to the furthest extent possible to achieve the highest compensation that you are entitled to.
- We have worked with Texas landowners for the past 15 years, representing hundreds of condemnation claims. Our law firm will utilize our experience and resources to strengthen your case.
What is Condemnation?
When the government decides it wants to take your land, you will receive a letter detailing the reason for the taking and requesting a survey of your land. During the survey, an appraiser hired by the condemning authority will value your property and the entity will use that number to make an offer. If you believe the offer is insufficient, you can reject it or negotiate. If you and the entity cannot agree on an amount, then it will file a condemnation lawsuit against you.
During the condemnation process, the court will appoint three local landowners to serve as Special Commissioners at your hearing. Based on the evidence each side presents, the Special Commissioners will decide the value of your property, damages to your remainder, and award a specified amount.
When Should You Reject Compensation from the Government?
Knowing what to do when the government wants to take your property can be challenging, especially if you have never faced eminent domain before. It is important to remember that you should never accept the first offer you receive—these entities often want to save as much money as possible, and the offer may be much lower than you may believe. Instead, speak to a condemnation attorney in Texas from Marrs Ellis & Hodge to determine your options.
Your attorney will handle all communications with the entity on your behalf, reducing your stress during the case process. He or she will also help you hire expert appraisers to evaluate your land’s value, using this evidence to build a strong case during the negotiation and condemnation processes. Your lawyer will also be able to determine whether your first offer is sufficient, helping you understand your legal options.
Inverse condemnation occurs when the government damages property without adequate compensation. This can especially happen when the government takes property without using condemnation proceedings or the exercise of eminent domain law. If the government has damaged your property value unlawfully, you may need to contact a condemnation lawyer. In order to have a claim, you must be able to prove that the government took the property unlawfully for public use and damaged its value.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Houston Condemnation Lawyer
When exercising your rights under Texas eminent domain laws, the government must provide just compensation for your Houston property —and if they provide an insufficient offer or lowball appraisal, you deserve to fight for maximum compensation. You have the right to reject the initial offer. The condemnation and eminent domain attorneys at our law firm have the experience and resources necessary to evaluate your claim, understand your property’s true value, and advocate for your best interests during each stage of condemnation litigation.