Wisconsin Eminent Domain and Property Rights Law Firm
Often landowners are concerned that if the government sends the a Jurisdictional Offer, their land could be taken without any payment being made. While it is true that If negotiations fail, the first step in the eminent domain/condemnation process is the issuance of a jurisdictional offer, the landowner still has a right to just compensation, and to challenge the legality of the taking.
If you receive a jurisdictional offer, it is very important to immediately consult an attorney well versed in eminent domain law because a 40 day statute of limitations starts on the day that the jurisdictional offer is postmarked. The jurisdictional offer is a notice sent by the Wisconsin DOT to the landowner. There are strict statutory requirements relating to eminent domain, but the jurisdictional offer starts a 40 day timeline to challenge most of them. If you receive a jurisdictional offer it is extremely important to find out if there is anything that needs to be filed within those forty days, because after 40 days from the date of postmark on the jurisdictional offer many, if not most, claims are barred.
The jurisdictional offer is also relevant should the landowner appeal the amount of compensation that they have a right to receive as a result of the taking. Under Wisconsin eminent domain law, the landowner may usually recover all attorney’s fees and costs if the appeal results in a verdict or award that is at least 15% more than the jurisdictional offer.