Both state and federal governments can take your land without your permission. Why?
There are a variety of reasons the government can use as justification for eminent domain. However, the state or local authority has the duty to provide just compensation for your seized property.
Eminent domain in Arkansas is not uncommon. It is the ability of federal, state or local governments to seize your land for public purposes. Once restricted to large-scale public works such as new highways, sewers or roadways, the definition of eminent domain has expanded to include the seizure and reallocation of privately held land for the good of the public.
One large-scale use of this definition is the condemnation of deteriorating houses and other structures in order to build public housing. If your property has been the target of eminent domain in Arkansas, you should seek the advice of a real estate expert witness in Arkansas who can help you determine if you are given fair market value for your property.
Eminent Domain Case Study
In real estate, eminent domain represents the power of federal, state or local (city, county, school district or U.S. Supreme Court. In Kelo vs. the City of New London, Connecticut, the case dealt with eminent domain used to give away land to a new private owner to boost economic development.
In a very close 5 to 4 decision, the Court upheld the seizure. It found that economic growth qualified as a permissible “public use” under the Fifth Amendment. The city of New London, Connecticut, then transferred the land to a private developer as part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan.
In this case the original owner was compensated fairly for the land. But what if he hadn’t been?
Inverse Condemnation Process
When government takes property without fairly compensating owners, the impacted property owner can bring an inverse condemnation lawsuit against the responsible government entity. This is called an “inverse” rather than “direct” suit because it’s filed by the owner and not the government. Eminent domain seizure cases are considered “direct” condemnation.
Therefore, as the property owner, you have to prove your property rights were taken without the required compensation. (In eminent domain cases, the government bears the burden of proof prior to seizing your property. However, as seen in the case study above, the definition of “public use” in constantly expanding.)
Your real estate expert witness in Arkansas can review your property’s value and provide an objective report on your standing compared to that of the governing authority that claimed your property under eminent domain in Arkansas. Note that expert witnesses are required to maintain impartiality in order to help the court reach a sound decision. So, be clear in what you are looking for.
Ferstl Valuation Services is owned by attorneys who provide appraisal and valuation services. If you need an Arkansas real estate expert witness, we are the people to talk to first. We offer expert witness or litigation support services to help you get the compensation you deserve from your eminent domain in Arkansas property seizure. Give us a call today at 501-313-0641, request an appraisal, or stop by our office at 5905 Forest Place, Suite 100, Little Rock, AR 72207.