The Process

As written in the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, you have the right to “due process.” The process, however, can be cumbersome so we created an outline for landowners impacted by eminent domain. Of course, you are welcome to call us first and we’ll walk with you through each step.

  1. Will You be Impacted?

Find out if your property lies in the right-of-way. This is easier said than done. Most entities don’t know themselves. Environmental studies, caverns, endangered species and rough terrains are but some of the obstacles encountered when mapping out a right-of-way. A few websites keep up with projects and we suggest you search them out as a first step. One such website is provided by an eminent domain attorney. Click here and scroll down to Active Condemnation Projects

  1. Know your Rights.

Watch this video. You have the right to refuse any offer to buy your land, even if the offer comes from governmental agencies who hold the power of eminent domain.

You also have the right to be treated fairly.

“We know that we must have the means to move people, goods and energy across Texas, but private property owners should be treated fairly when forced to give up their property.” —Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening

Most states provide a list of rights afforded landowners who are impacted by eminent domain. To view the Texas Landowner Bill of Rights click here.

  1. Seek Eminent Domain Counsel.

Only a handful of attorneys have taken condemnation cases to court, tried them in front of a jury and won a significant award for the landowner. Our advice is to choose one of them. If you want to be introduced, give us a call. We’ll connect you. It’s what we do, professionally.

Talk to your CPA. Has he or she completed a 1033 exchange? Is he or she willing to brush up on IRS Publication 544 and Chapter 17 of the Master Tax Guide? Will he or she complete your IRS Form 8824? Find out. It will be better for everyone if you don’t have to find a tax expert late in the process.

  1. Seek Easement Counsel.

Sometimes, the law firm helping you with your condemnation settlement can also help you with the language in your easement or right-of-way agreement. This contract is important because you will have to live with the transmission line or pipeline company for as long as you own the property. An easement agreement that can lean in the landowners favor, even a little bit, will be worth it. Again, let us know if you will need assistance in this area. It’s not our expertise, so we have befriended a few of the brightest legal minds who are experts in this area of condemnation law. We’re pleased to refer you.

  1. Avoid all Taxes.

Eminent domain proceeds are taxable. There is one IRS-approved method of deferring and possibly eliminating the tax. It is Section 1033 of the Internal Revenue Code. Learn the rules, apply them and save taxes. This is what we do professionally, so call us.

Many landowners begin the process by calling us. These steps are here for those who don’t
need us. However, if you run into a snag, anywhere along the way, call us. We serve landowners right where they are in the process. Go to our Offices page for an office near you.

By the way, click here for a great resource on the process of eminent domain.