The Condemnation Process
At the Dallas firm of Vassallo & Salazar, P.C., we believe it is important for property owners to understand the condemnation process. While the process of taking private land is complex, it has many nuances, including the following steps:
Notification and Offer
The condemning entity will send you notification and an initial offer to purchase your land. After the initial offer, the condemning entity will work with an appraiser to determine the fair market value of your land, and send you an initial offer. There are three important things to know during the notification and offer stage:
- You should not take the appraisal of fair market value at face value
- You have the right to negotiate
- You have the right to an attorney
We will review your case, determine an accurate amount of compensation and negotiate on your behalf. We may be able to resolve the matter prior to a formal filing of a condemnation petition.
Filing of the Condemnation Petition
A condemnation suit is a lawsuit filed by the condemning entity against the property owner. The condemning entity files a petition with the court. The petition must state that the condemning entity adhered to the property owner’s rights when making the initial and final offers.
We can guide your through the entire process. Negotiations may continue even after they file a lawsuit, and both parties may reach a settlement if the condemning entity is willing to make a fair offer. We have more than 100 years of combined experience in these types of cases.
Special Commissioners’ Hearing
If both parties cannot reach a settlement, the court will appoint three landowners as special commissioners, who review the case and issue an award. They will conduct a hearing to determine a fair amount of compensation for the land in question.
It is important you choose an experienced attorney to represent you. We know how to present evidence in these hearings to make the commissioners recognize the full compensation owed to the landowner.
Consultation About Condemnation Proceedings
We have decades of experience at eminent domain trials and a proven track record representing property owners in front of a judge or a jury.
We can also handle eminent domain appeals in the state appellate courts and state supreme courts.