Standing up for the rights of landowners facing a utility taking
The government has the power to take ownership of private lands under the legal doctrine of eminent domain. The government can choose to initiate an eminent domain action for a wide variety of reasons, as long as the reason qualifies as a “public use” and the government offers fair compensation to the affected landowner.
Having access to utilities is certainly important for households and businesses in the United States. For this reason, construction projects related to the improvement of utilities or increasing access to utilities can be established as a “public use.” For this reason, the main legal issue in a utility takings case is whether or not the landowner receives just compensation for the taking. At the law office of Sever Storey, LLP, our mission is to hold electric companies, water and sewer departments, and other utility companies accountable for a taking by ensuring that the affected landowners receive the full amount of compensation they deserve for their lost property rights. If you are facing a utility taking or any type of eminent domain action, please call our office in Indiana today at 888-318-3761 to speak with an experienced condemnation attorney today.
Some of the most common utility takings cases arise out of the following types of projects:
Natural gas or oil pipelines
Coal gasification pipelines
Generally speaking, utility projects will not require that ownership of an entire property be taken. Instead, utility companies only seek to obtain an easement, which gives them permanent permission to use part of the land for their intended project. Though an easement seems less drastic than a taking of the full property, utility takings cause specific challenges for landowners including reducing the property value or decreasing the productivity of the land. Easements can also last forever, thereby affecting every subsequent owner of the property. For this reason, landowners should always ensure the receive adequate compensation for an easement as part of a utility taking.
Standing up to large utility companies can further be very intimidating for landowners, and owners may feel pressured to accept the first offer they receive for compensation for the land. In the large majority of case, however, this first offer is insultingly low and does not nearly reflect all of the losses that a property owner will incur as a result of the utility taking. Landowners should realize that they have specific rights in these cases and do not have to accept the first offer presented. Instead, they may partake in mediation or other negotiations to obtain the amount they truly deserve.
The eminent domain attorneys at Sever Storey, LLP in Indiana have the knowledge and resources to accurately estimate the amount of compensation you truly deserve for a utility easement or other type of taking. We only handle eminent domain cases and, therefore, we thoroughly understand all relevant laws and legal issues that may arise. We always offer free consultations, so please call us at 888-318-3761 for help today.
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Before going alone against the State let us give you our opinion. It is our pledge that we will provide a free case review for any individual or business facing eminent domain or condemnation. Contact us now at 888-318-3761