Valuing and protecting your home and property.
Your Guiding Voice in Condemnation
The government is empowered to seize private property for public use. This process is called Condemnation. If the government takes your property, in whole or in part, then the law requires that the government fairly compensate you for that taking.
Generally, condemnation is effectuated by the government – local, state, or federal – although private entities (usually pipeline companies) are occasionally cloaked with governmental authority enabling them to have the right to seize your property. This process is often undertaken for the purpose of constructing highways, railways, transmission lines, hospitals, schools, pipelines, and water retention/detention.
But, how do you protect yourself from unfair treatment by the government? We believe the answer is simple: Hire Hanszen Laporte.
Once the government decides to take your property, the condemning authority will appraise the land and the structures on it to determine how much the property is worth, and the condemning authority will make an offer for the taken property and any damages which the taking will cause, which the owner could accept and avoid the condemnation process. In our experience, however, this offer typically represents a value which is substantially below the property's actual market value and the totality of the loss. So, if a landowner desires to obtain full value for the property they will lose and the damages to the "remainder," and does not simply wish to accept the award, understanding the condemnation process becomes crucial.
If the owner rejects the government's offer, the condemning authority will file the appropriate court action to exercise the right of eminent domain. An initial hearing will be scheduled before court-appointed commissioners who will consider evidence of the property's value from both the landowner and the condemning authority. Upon the conclusion of the case before the commissioner's court, the commission will issue an award. If the landowner believes that the commissioners have not fairly valued their property, then the case will proceed to full litigation before the trial court just as any other suit would proceed.
The condemnation process is not the same for everyone, and the process can be frustrating for landowners. Our expert litigators possess the knowledge and experience to ensure that our clients have their property fairly valued, their claims and interests properly presented and considered, and they are put in position to obtain the greatest recovery from this process. And, unlike many other attorneys in Texas, Hanszen Laporte’s attorneys have a history of success in this specific forum.
If you need help, Hanszen Laporte's condemnation team is here to handle your matter from start to finish. For more information on what we can do for you, contact us at (713) 522-9444.