Protecting the Rights of Landowners Throughout Pierce County
When you purchase land, you likely assume that you will rightfully possess that land until you sell it of your own accord. However, many people in the State of Washington are shocked to learn that the government, or a related entity, has the right take their land for the benefit of the public.
“Eminent domain,” also known as “condemnation,” is a term you may have heard in the news, but you likely never thought it would happen to you. The truth is that anyone can have their land condemned by the government if the government thinks it needs your property for a public use. It is critical that landowners who are facing possible condemnation have qualified legal representation from the very beginning of the process to protect their constitutional rights.
Eminent domain is a very specific area of law with unique issues and questions in every case. The team at the Brink Law Firm understands your rights under eminent domain laws and fight to protect them at every turn. If you have received notice of a possible condemnation action involving your residential or commercial property, do not delay in calling attorneys Terry and Clinton Brink today.
Eminent Domain Powers
The Fifth Amendment to the United States ends by stating that private property shall not “be taken for public use, without just compensation.” This has long been interpreted to mean that private property can be taken if the public use and just compensation requirements are met. The Washington State Constitution has a similar provision, allowing for the taking of private lands under specific circumstances. As such, local, state, and federal government agencies regularly take private property needed for certain projects—even if landowners don’t wish to sell their land at that time.
“Public use” can refer to any number of projects or developments that are deemed to benefit the public in that community. This can include parks, schools, highway construction or expansion, government buildings, utility projects, and more. In addition, the law has been interpreted to allow condemnation to eliminate blight or to construct private commercial developments. If a taking does not suit a public purpose, it is unlawful and can be challenged.