Texas Eminent Domain
There are few things more daunting than navigating through the Texas eminent domain legal process on your own. Frequently, the only information a property owner will receive is a pamphlet or brochure created and distributed by the condemning authority or government. When it comes to eminent domain, the condemning authority is playing in their arena; they do this every day. They know what the rules are, they know how the rules affect them, and they also know how the rules affect you. Because of this, it's important to understand your rights from a property owner's perspective, and not just from the condemning authority's perspective.
If you're looking for information regarding the Texas eminent domain process before making any possible mistakes, you've come to the right place. Although the Texas eminent domain process is complicated, we've provided the details you need to know about eminent domain in Texas, your rights as a property owner, and hiring an eminent domain attorney. In addition to the resources below, we also urge you to read our blog for detailed information regarding damages and case evaluations, and also view our videos for a comprehensive overview of eminent domain.
Texas Eminent Domain Process
Most of the eminent domain takings in Texas meet the requirements for public purpose or public necessity. These types of takings arise from highway expansion projects such as a road widening or an intersection reconstruction; they can also arise from utility projects such as pipeline or sewer projects. Although the government has the right to condemn property in these instances, they cannot dictate the price they are willing to pay; compensation is determined by the highest and best use laws for your property. Obtaining just compensation during in the Texas eminent domain process often requires the use of an attorney to help you navigate through the legal system, and typically requires the use of experts such as appraisers to determine just compensation.
Learn more about the Texas Eminent Domain Process
Texas Property Owner Rights
If you think the proposed taking does not meet the requirement for public purpose or public necessity, then continue reading to learn more about your property rights in the state of Texas.
The landmark US Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London in 2005 opened a Pandora's box for property owners. The decision gave states the power to condemn property for economic development purposes, which prompted a flurry of legislative reform measures to help curb eminent domain abuse. The Castle Coalition, a nationwide grassroots property activism project by the Institute for Justice, released a comprehensive report in 2006 that graded each state based on eminent domain legislative changes which expand and protect property rights.
Did you know that the Castle Coalition gave Texas a B- when it comes to property owners' protection against eminent domain?
Learn more about why Texas was given an B- grading and Texas Property Rights
Attorney Fee Recovery and Hiring an Attorney
It's difficult for property owners like yourself to identify eminent domain damages that lead to additional just compensation because eminent domain is not something you do everyday. Also, finding an appraiser and lining up other appropriate experts on your own is not something we recommend. Hiring the wrong experts can ruin a good eminent domain claim. The Texas eminent domain process is complicated, and if you are threatened with eminent domain, you should at least seek the advice of an eminent domain attorney in Texas prior to taking matters into your own hands.
Many states have passed legislation mandating that attorney's fees be paid by the condemning authority in eminent domain cases if certain criteria are met. These statutes ensure that property owners receive just compensation for their losses.
Learn more about Attorney Fee Recovery and Hiring an Attorney
" ...It is so refreshing to know a law office that does what it says it will do...you are truly an expert in this field and I am greatful..."
"You treated us better than family! [You] came right to our home and went to Madison for us, you were the best! [The] DOT was so smart when they were here; you showed them that the little guy can be right and got us a nice chunk of money!....Thank you so much!"
- John & Pat Schmalz, Menasha, WI
"Biersdorf & Associates has an ingrain[ed] desire to help people!"
"You did more than anyone else ever tried to do for us and no words can truly explain what that means to us."
"I can unequivocally claim that we have been very pleased with the work that your law firm has performed on our behalf. Our only regret is that we did not contact your firm sooner..."
"...Thank You. It is a small thing compared to what you did for me, I still am amazed at your generosity."
"[Biersdorf & Associates] knowledge and experience in the condemnation process stood out."
"Dan listened to me; some of the attorney's I have spoken to around my state do all the talking, but do not hear what we are saying."
"[I was] very satisfied. [We] got more money than the DOT offered. [It was] great working with Biersdorf & Associates."