Property Owners Tips


Eminent Domain and Condemnation

Eminent domain is the right of the government to take private property for the use and benefit of the public. This power has also been vested in non-governmental or quasi-governmental entities that provide public services, such as electricity, natural gas and water. Condemnation is the legal process through which the property is taken or acquired under the power of eminent domain. If negotiations with the property owner are unsuccessful, the condemning party will file a civil lawsuit to acquire the property through a condemnation proceeding and trial, if necessary.

Important Property Owner's Rights

The property owner has the right to contest whether the condemnation of his property is necessary for public use. This is normally a very difficult battle to win. However, the property owner is entitled to contest the offer made by the condemning party to assure that the property owner is being paid fair market value for his property.

Located in Waco, Texas, Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones, P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm. We assist clients throughout central Texas, including Waco, Dallas, Austin, Irving and Ft. Worth, as well as throughout the country, in eminent domain and condemnation matters.

To speak with an experienced HDSMJ Trial Lawyer about your Texas eminent domain rights or property owners rights, call us toll free at 866-539-2648 or fill out our online case evaluation form .

Compensation Due the Property Owner

The law requires the condemning party to pay the property owner fair market value for the property taken through a condemnation proceeding. This payment includes any damages or diminution in the value of the property owner's remaining property. Fair market value is defined, in part, as what a willing seller, not obligated to sell, would accept for the property and what a willing buyer, not obligated to buy, would pay for the property. A property owner's current use of the property may not be the appropriate measure for fair market value. The fair market valuation will be based upon the "highest and best use" of the property, not necessarily the use of the property at the time of the condemnation.

Need for Attorney Representation

The Texas Property Code sets forth the procedures for condemnation proceedings. The condemning party is familiar with the process and normally has had months in advance to prepare for the proceeding. Once the property owner is notified that his property is being condemned, the proceeding can move very quickly. It is important for the property owner to have his own attorneys to represent his interests against the well-trained team of the condemning party.

Texas Eminent Domain and Condemnation: Property Owners Attorney

Contact the attorneys at Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison, P. C. at 866-539-2648 or 254-761-3301 for a free consultation about your condemnation case. HDSMJ Trial Lawyers represent property owners in condemnation proceedings on a contingent fee basis to assure that the property owners receive the full value of the original offer and pay a fee just on a percentage of the increased amount recovered by Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison, P. C. for the property owner.