body-drop

West Virginia Eminent Domain Explained

Summary of the West Virginia Eminent Domain Law

Few issues evoke such strong opposition as the taking of private land through eminent domain for a public use. When it comes to eminent domain, the government 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 know how the rules affect property owners. If the government is taking your land, make sure that you become informed so that you know what you can and cannot do.

Your initial question might be, can I stop the process? In most cases, you won’t be able to prevent the government from acquiring your land, but you are entitled to just compensation under eminent domain law. Learn more about eminent domain generally and what you’re entitled to receive, or continue reading to learn about the West Virginia eminent domain process, your rights as a property owner and hiring a West Virginia eminent domain attorney. Did you know that most eminent domain attorneys work on a contingent fee basis? With this fee structure, the attorney assumes the risk of earning a fee.

Potomac Highlands, WV

West Virginia Eminent Domain Process

In the state of West Virginia, the eminent domain process can only be stopped if the proposed taking does not meet the requirements for public purpose or public necessity. If you have determined that the proposed taking does meet these requirements, then you should learn more about the West Virginia eminent domain process.

Remember, even if the government has the right to condemn your property, they cannot dictate the price they are willing to pay; compensation is determined by the highest and best use laws for your property. The following page contains detailed legal information and a flow chart on the West Virginia eminent domain process.

Learn more about the West Virginia Eminent Domain Process

 

West Virginia Property Rights

The eminent domain abuse dialogue often centers on policy issues involving the right to take property for economic development and blight. Since the landmark case of Kelo v. City of New London in 2005, many states have taken measures to help curb eminent domain abuse. Some states were very successful at passing meaningful reform, and other states failed to pass any legislation at all. Most states fall in the middle by passing legislation that looks good on paper but does little to level the playing field between property owners and the government.

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 West Virginia a C- when it comes to property owners’ protection against eminent domain? Continue reading to learn more.

Learn more about West Virginia Property Rights

 

Hiring an Eminent Domain Attorney in West Virginia

As you are likely aware, taking matters into your own hands when it comes to eminent domain is highly discouraged. You could ruin a good claim by attempting to negotiate with the condemning authority without knowing the full extent of your damages. Or, you could settle for much less than what you are entitled to receive. Don’t be surprised if you’re unable to assess the damages in your case; no one expects you to be an expert on land valuation in eminent domain cases. In fact, the government is counting on this.

Most eminent domain attorneys work on a contingent fee basis. With this fee structure, the attorney assumes the risk for earning a fee. Property owners are generally only responsible for paying costs, with the primary cost being the appraiser who values the property. Because of the contingent fee structure, most eminent domain attorneys will conduct a free case evaluation for property owners prior to recommending representation.

If you’re affected by eminent domain, you should obtain a consultation so that you know and understand your rights before taking any action. Remember, the government is like any buyer, they will want to purchase your property as cheaply as possible, and their appraisers may neglect to consider damages that can lead to a larger amount of just compensation.

You should know that eminent domain is a highly specialized area of law – very few attorneys can claim expertise in this area. To determine if you have a case, make sure you consult with an attorney who focuses their practice on representing property owners in eminent domain cases. If you consult with an attorney who doesn’t have this experience, they may overlook damages that could lead to a larger amount of just compensation. Contact us for a free case evaluation.

Contact Us for a Free, No Obligation Consultation


Fields marked with an * are required
















Subscribe to our Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Testimonials

” …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…”

- Jerald Lang,Marshfield, WI

“[I was] very satisfied. [We] got more money than the DOT offered. [It was] great working with Biersdorf & Associates.”

- Roland Thomas,Lowman, NY

“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.”

- Theresa Cornell,Milton, WV

Read More