Wilson Law Group P.C.

Board Certified Texas Attorney

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Wilson Legal Group P.C.
16610 Dallas Parkway, Suite 1000
Dallas, Texas 75248
Telephone: 972-248-8080

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Practice Areas - Complex Litigation

Real Estate - Eminent Domain

Eminent domain is the state's power over all property of that particular state, especially the power to appropriate property for use of the public.  In some areas, the state will assign eminent domain power to specific private and public companies so that they can aid in eminent domain activities such as running telephone, power, water, or gas lines.  Under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, those who own appropriated land are entitled to practical compensation, typically identified as the fair market value of the property.  Land is taken under eminent domain in proceedings called "condemnation" proceedings.

The process by which a unit of government seeks to acquire privately owned property typically begins with an attempt to negotiate the purchase of the land for fair value.  If the property owner is unwilling to sell, the government can file a court action to exercise eminent domain and issues notice of the hearing.  At the scheduled hearing, the government must prove that it attempted to engage in good faith negotiations over the purchase of the land but that no accord was achieved.  They must also verify that the procurement of the property is for public use.  The property owner is given the chance to respond to the claims.  If the government succeeds in its petition, proceedings are held to ascertain the fair market value of the property.  Payment to the owner is first used to compensate any mortgages, liens, and encumbrances on the property, with any remaining money given to the owner.  The government then gains title.  If the government's petition is not successful or if the owner is not pleased with the result, either party may appeal the judgment.