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Nebraska Condemnation Attorney

Understanding Eminent Domain & Property Condemnation

Domina Law Group has extensive experience in all aspects of property disputes. Neighbors, towns, states, and even countries can have disputes regarding land and resources on or in the land that need resolving, and this is often done through the legal process.

What is Condemnation?

Condemnation is defined as the seizure of property by a public authority for a public purpose. Although such property may be rightfully owned by an American citizen, the government has the ability to acquire this property if it is to be used to address a public need or for public good. The government cannot simply take the property; they must follow certain procedures and must compensate the landowner, in accordance with eminent domain laws.

Condemned property (property that is to be acquired for public use) must be appraised by the condemner (the public authority/government) to determine its fair market value and any economic losses the condemnee (landowner) may experience by losing the property. The condemner will then offer the condemnee a certain amount of money to purchase the property and the two parties may wish to negotiate the price, in a similar manner as to how a regular buyer and seller would negotiate. If the condemnee does not feel that the condemner's offer is fair and reasonable, the condemnee may decline the offer.

Declining the government's offer to purchase condemned property does not automatically mean that the property owner will get to keep the land. The government may move forward with condemnation proceedings by filing a lawsuit in the court of the county in which the property is located. Even without the landowner's consent, the government may take condemned property (though the landowner must still be compensated.)

Property Disputes Due to Condemnation & Eminent Domain

Property disputes can arise through Condemnation or Eminent Domain actions. When private property is taken by the government, the owner is entitled to receive just compensation. Of course, it is in the Government's best interest to pay you the property owner the least amount of money – this is where Domina Law Group steps in.

As a property owner, you can be compensated not only for the "Direct Damages," the market value of the property actually taken or impaired, but also "Severance Damages," are much more difficult to calculate and the Government understands this and will often undervalue if recognize Severance Damages at all.

Historically, the Government has utilized its Power of Eminent Domain for the purpose of condemning property to make way for something that is supposed to benefit a large number of the public at large such as a new highway, school, park, hospital, or another public project. Recently, however, the law has changed to allow the Government to use its powers to take your property and give it to other private companies or developers under the theory these private entities will develop the property in a way that is beneficial for the surrounding community.

Whatever the reason for the exercise of Condemnation, your rights need to be protected. You need to be represented by Domina Law Group, a firm with experience in fighting for the maximum amount of compensation a property owner can obtain.

The fight over what is or is not "Fair Market Value" and whether you are entitled to "Severance Damages" or not are not ones you want to fight alone. Our law firm has 60 years of experience dealing with eminent domain and property dispute issues. We can help.

Protecting Landowners in Nebraska

At Domina Law Group, our trial lawyers litigate on behalf of property owners across Nebraska facing condemnation proceedings under eminent domain. The government does not have unlimited power when it comes to acquiring property for public use. They must follow the rules and must properly compensate the owner for the land. Involving the use of trusted, experienced appraisers, investigators, support staff and expert witnesses, we build strong cases that hold up in court. Our team never backs away from an opponent when our client is in the right. We bring everything into the courtroom to present our case in a clear and convincing manner.

In Nebraska, the government has the right to acquire property for state use, but there are specific steps that must be taken. Nebraska Revised Statues §76-725 (2011) states, "The State of Nebraska may acquire, by eminent domain, lands necessary for any state use. The procedure to condemn property shall be exercised in the manner set forth in sections 76-704 to 76-724."

If the government does not follow procedure and takes, uses or damages property without properly undergoing condemnation proceedings, the property owner may be able to seek financial compensation or other remedies by filing a petition with the county judge in the county in which the property is located.

A property owner may also be able to fight condemnation by successfully proving that the government does not meet public purpose or public necessity requirements. The public authority that wishes to acquire condemned property must prove that the property will be used for the benefit of the public. Even if the grounds for condemnation cannot be challenged, the property owner has the right to seek just compensation for his or her land. This may include more than just the value of the land itself but any related losses that the property owner may experience by losing the use of the land.


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