Can Government Really Take Your Property?

Someone from a big agency or company contacts you and says your property is needed for a road or utility project. At first, it seems jarring or even outrageous. But then you wonder: Can they really take my property?

At Lavery Law, we know how urgent that question is when a property owner faces a property taking. We focus a significant part of our law practice on defending the rights of people in eminent domain cases.

Give us a call at 888-470-6015 to arrange a confidential consultation with a knowledgeable attorney about your specific situation. From our office in Harrisburg, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.

What Type Of Project Affects You?

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution includes a key clause saying that private property is not be taken for public use without just compensation. The process by which the government asserts the right to take property and compensates the owner is called eminent domain.

To use the power of eminent domain to take property, the purpose has to be public, not private. This public use isn't always clear when a pipeline company owned by private investors is driving a particular project.

And even if the purpose of a project is public, the proper procedure must be followed.

Depending on the project, the proper procedure may involve primarily state law or federal law. For highway projects, this generally means dealing with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Many pipeline projects concern federal law, although some may be under state law.

No matter whether it's a federal, state or local project, if the required approval process has not been followed, that's a problem for the project. Without the proper approvals, any attempt by an entity to take your property may be premature.

Get The Legal Help You Need

Our firm handles most eminent domain cases on a contingency basis, which means there is no cost to you for lawyer fees until we win a recovery. We encourage you to call today to arrange a confidential consultation with an experienced lawyer about your rights and options. Or, if you prefer, complete the online form.