Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 9, 2020

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To resist the condemnation of your property, you will need to present your case at a hearing and offer convincing evidence in your favor. There are two different grounds on which you can resist the condemnation. You can argue that the taking of your property is not necessary. You can also indicate that the monetary offer made to you is not “just compensation” for the property. In either case, you will need to have clear evidence to support your claim that your property should not be condemned and get the court to go along with you. 

Understanding Condemnation Law

Condemnation occurs when the government takes your property under their right of eminent domain. The government must take it for the public good such as to build a school, park, road, or multi-family affordable housing. While the government does have a right to take the property over your objection, the government cannot just take your property without paying you for it. As such, the government is required to give you “just compensation.” This is determined by appraisers who look at what the property would be worth on an open market if sold for the most profitable use. In other words, if you are currently using your house as a residential home, but it could be turned into something more profitable, the appraisers would look at the property as if it were being used for the “best” and most profitable use. 

If you wish to resist and argue either that the property does not need to be taken for the public good or that the compensation is unjust, you must present convincing evidence to win your case. Testimony from professional appraisers is essential to support your argument.

Risks in Resisting Condemnation

When you do resist condemnation, you run the risk of getting less compensation than you were originally offered. You also run the risk of getting stuck with legal fees.  The government has to only pay legal fees if you win your case.

Getting Legal Help

Hiring a lawyer is essential if you want the best chance of winning. A lawyer can also tell you whether you have a good case for resisting condemnation in the first place.