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Eminent Domain / Condemnation

An Experienced Maryland Eminent Domain Law Firm

Defending your property rights

Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private property for public use. The process involves condemnation of your property, appraisal of its value, an offer to purchase and negotiation for a fair price. If the government offers an unsatisfactory amount of compensation or your property was improperly designated for public use, you have legal recourse available. We have more than 40 years of experience protecting clients’ rights during all stages of eminent domain proceedings.

Challenging public use

Public use traditionally refers to the development of your property for streets, airports, dams, reservoirs, schools, hospitals, parks and other projects purported to benefit the community. In some cases, private companies can gain easements through the eminent domain doctrine to perform such functions as laying and maintaining gas, water, telephone or power lines. In the landmark 2005 case Kelo v. New London, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the taking of property for economic development serves a public purpose. This highly controversial decision has led to the condemnation of decent homes and viable businesses so that private development companies can build projects that generate more tax revenue. We review the government’s proposed use of your property and challenge the legitimacy of the public purpose.

Increasing fair market value

The highest price a buyer would pay you for your property if you were selling on the open market is its fair market value. We seek alternative appraisals to dispute the government’s assessment of your property’s fair market value and apply our exceptional negotiation skills to increase the offer to an amount that reflects the property’s true value.

Receiving just compensation

The 5th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution prohibit the government’s taking of private property without payment of just compensation to the owner. Fair market value is the basis of the government’s offer. In some cases, other vital factors — such as a business’s good will or diminished value — may increase the amount of just compensation due. We ensure you are paid fully for your losses.

Contact the meticulous Baltimore eminent domain attorney

Call John C. Murphy at 410-625-4828 or contact us online.