What Is Inverse Condemnation?

Condemning a property is similar to inverse condemnation when the government that seizes the real estate damages it beyond repair. Eminent domain and inverse condemnation are similar and may affect the homeowner in various ways where the entire portion of property or only a parcel are taken by the federal or state government.

In cases of inverse condemnation, the owner of the property believes he or she is entitled to compensatory damages. This is due to the total or partial damages that affect the land or property seized by the local, state or federal government. In eminent domain rights, the landowner is entitled to these damages from the agency or government type that seizes the land. Inverse condemnation occurs when the government does not pay for the seizure. The landowner must then sue to receive these monies he or she should receive per the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

The Seizure of Land

When a government agency has need of a parcel or complete piece of land, the homeowner’s contact is usually immediate. This is to ensure the project completion occurs quickly. It is important to ensure the job initiates as soon as possible. The project may include a road, highway, interstate, dumping field or similar needs. Unfortunately, not all agencies have the funds to pay the landowner before the project completion occurs. Others may not follow correct protocol. Sometimes, the government branch is not aware that compensation requires payment to the owner of the land that is taken.

Complications with Seizure

Some landowners face no payment given based on the land seized. The complications arise when the landowner is given the land back, but it cannot be used in the future for any possible project. Dumping refuse or other contaminants into the land changes it into unusable property. This causes the landowner to lose all value, and he or she may not have any possible way to sell or transform the real estate into revenue. Buildings placed on the property could cut the portion into pieces, and if farmers discover roads going through the land, they may have little to farm.

Damaging the land or property beyond any possible repair often occurs during inverse condemnation. Additionally, the government initiates the eminent domain rights. However, the complications arise when the correct procedures are lacking. Sometimes the landowner will dispute the development restrictions placed on the property. The taken land does require compensation as entitled rights to the possessor of the real estate and land. While transfers of ownership may not occur, the damage or conduct on the property could lead to diminution of value. Other problems exist when there is flooding or burning of the wildlife.

Government Regulations

Some situations where the government agency has seized the property for some use leads to regulations that go beyond what is necessary. These may include physical invasions, appropriation, economic deprivation of all possible use of the land and significant interference with the investments that may exit on the property. Some activity that occurs on the land is beyond the scope of permitted conditions and approval. This may go against the state or federal government interests. These circumstances could arise when employees and agents are not following standard procedures or laws. These incidents may also include monetary damages to the property in excess of what was explained initially to the landowner. If the transfer of ownership does not occur, the stripping of value demands compensation of like kind.

Threatened Property

The government may seize property and transfer the ownership to the agency. Or, the agents that knock on the door may only use the land for the project and leave when the job is over. However, if the value is not compensated through monetary benefits or returned in some manner, the owner may have action he or she may pursue. The threat of devalued property is real and important. Once the land has been damaged beyond repair, the owner is unable to profit from it in anyway until time heals the destruction. Flooding and burning may take a shorter period than areas that are full of refuse or contaminated substances.

The Lawyer in Inverse Condemnation

Similar to eminent domain cases, a lawyer is often necessary for inverse condemnation so that compensation is possible. Receiving fair and reasonable monetary benefits from the damage or seizure is the right of each landowner in the country per the Fifth Amendment even when a government agency takes the land or devalues the property.

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