Have You Been Threatened With Eminent Domain?

Can the government legally take my property? What options do I have to fight eminent domain? Am I being compensated fairly for my condemned property? These are questions many individuals and businesses ask when they have been threatened with eminent domain.

In some cases, it is possible to challenge eminent domain or request additional compensation when your home or business real estate has been condemned for eminent domain purposes. Massachusetts' eminent domain laws and processes, however, are very complicated and require the help of an experienced attorney.

Seder & Chandler has been protecting the rights of residential and commercial real estate owners for nearly a century. Contact us to speak with an experienced Worcester eminent domain attorney.

Eminent Domain: Definition

Eminent domain is the government taking of private property for public use. This is also called condemnation. A government can condemn a property even if it is in perfectly good condition.

There are, however, requirements under the U.S. Constitution and Massachusetts law for how a government can take private property.

Your Eminent Domain Rights

Under the U.S. Constitution, a public entity may only take property for public use when it provides just compensation for that property. There are a few key elements here:

  1. Public use: The government may only take private property if there is a legitimate public purpose or necessity. In other words, the government project must serve a public need such as building a road or school.
  2. Just compensation: The government must leave the property owner in the same (or better) financial position he or she was in before losing the property.

If you believe the government is not taking your home for a legitimate public purpose or is not offering just compensation, you can contest the condemnation.

Inverse Condemnation

In some instances, the government takes actions that diminish a property owner's enjoyment and use of his or her property without compensating the property owner. This can occur when the government actually or constructively occupies private property, prevents access to property, or passes a regulation, ordinance or law that deprives the property owner of the real estate's value.

If the government has actually or constructively taken your property without declaring a taking and offering you just compensation for its use of your property, our lawyers can help you bring an inverse condemnation lawsuit.

Contact Our Massachusetts Condemnation Attorneys

To learn more about Massachusetts eminent domain law, contact Seder & Chandler. From our law offices in Worcester and Westborough, we represent clients throughout central Massachusetts.