Wisconsin Eminent Domain and Property Rights Law Firm
The biggest misconception that we hear from clients is concern that if the government (or utility company) uses eminent domain to “condemn” their property it means they don’t get anything for the property. People commonly ask us “if eminent domain is used, will I still get paid” or “if eminent domain is used, that means I don’t get anything.” This is wrong!
We will make it clear: If Eminent Domain is used our firm’s position is that YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE A MONETARY PAYMENT AS COMPENSATION FOR THE TAKING.
You have a constitutional right to be fairly and justly compensated when eminent domain is used. This is guaranteed under both the Wisconsin and Federal Constitutions.
The misconception that people sometimes have that they won’t get anything when eminent domain or condemnation is used, is a very dangerous misconception. Based on this misunderstanding, people sometimes accept far less than they are entitled to for the eminent domain taking. They accept less than what is fair because they are concerned that if eminent domain is used they will get nothing. This misconception is sometimes from the fact that agents for the government will threaten to “condemn” the property. People sometimes think that if the property is “condemned” then there will be no payment.
In fact, typically when your property is needed for a public project such as a road or high voltage transmission line, the use of the eminent domain power will typically result in you having the legal right to receive a payment for the property that is being taken.
Sometimes the amount of money paid will be fair, and other times the landowner will feel very unfairly treated. This is partly because landowners have many rights as part of the eminent domain process, but often do not know all of the ways to utilize the rights. The Wisconsin legislature has set up a system for when eminent domain is used, but this system is fairly complex and not perfect, it is designed to help ensure that landowners are fairly compensated for their land, but if the system is not fully used it often will result in a very unfair result.
Just remember, when eminent domain is used, you will receive compensation for the taking but the extent to which the compensation received is fair and just often depends on promptly seeking and receiving competent guidance through the process.