New Clients Email:

New Clients Email

What is Eminent Domain?

overhead view of a small neighborhood with trees and a four way intersection

If you own property that has been deemed necessary for public use, such as to expand roads, build a school, or run sewer lines, state and federal agencies can claim eminent domain.

Eminent domain refers to the power of the government to take private land for public use under certain circumstances. For example, the government may sometimes take someone’s house to make room for a new highway or a bridge.

Public Use Projects

The government can only claim eminent domain when the land is necessary for public use. This includes:

  • Infrastructure construction, such as roads or bridges
  • Government buildings, like a post office or school
  • Expansion of a park or creating a federally protected wildlife area

Government agencies may also act on behalf of private companies, such as in the case of purchasing property for redevelopment.

An experienced attorney will work on behalf of the property owner to ensure he or she receives a fair market value, even if the case has to go before a judge. An attorney will also look after your best interests and will prevent you from feeling intimidated or overwhelmed during the process.

After you receive a notice of eminent domain, it’s important to connect with an attorney because there are actions you may inadvertently take that could damage your case. These include:

  • Filing amended property tax returns or other documents to indicate a lower property value.
  • Signing documents, such as a right of access, without your eminent domain attorney reviewing them.
  • Thinking you don’t have rights or that it’s not worth fighting your case.

If you feel as if you have been appropriated against by the law or your property has been inadequately assessed and you have not been compensated fairly, Maginnis Howard’s eminent domain attorneys would like to speak with you.

You can contact our firm’s eminent domain attorneys by phone at 919.526.0450 or by email at You can also reach our firm through our contact page.