While condemning entities have guidance from the U.S. Constitution, State Constitution and statutes and local authorities for the eminent domain process, there is not always a quick answer as to how it will work in every circumstance.

When exercising eminent domain authority, entities do need to provide landowners with notice. The amount of notice they provide, however, can depend a lot on the circumstances surrounding the exercise of eminent domain authority.

Process overview

Before condemning entities can move forward with a potential acquisition, there are several steps they must follow, including:

  • Landowner’s Bill of Rights. The entity must provide a copy of the Texas Landowner’s Bill of Rights both at the beginning of the process, at least seven days before giving a final offer or both.
  • Making a bona fide offer. You should receive any appraisal reports that were used to establish the offer the entity is making for the property being taken.
  • Opportunities to negotiate. During the offer/negotiation process, there may be opportunities for you to negotiate a new offer or question the validity of the compensation offered for the property taking. However, the negotiation process in many instances is nothing more than a perfunctory exercise the condemning authority is required to complete before filing its eminent domain proceeding.

Each step in the process can potentially take weeks to complete if there are delays or discrepancies between you and the condemning entity.

Determining a timeline

There can be a significant amount of time between the time you receive notice that there could be a taking and the date you will be required to vacate the property.

It is essential to talk to an experienced attorney about potential condemnations. Although some eminent domain proceedings take a long time to conclude, others move much faster.