The federal government permits the public use of private property in exchange for compensation to the owner. However, property owners are not always successful in stopping this exchange or seizing back their land. Eminent domain is the legal process in California that allows this confiscation of private land and property.
Your Constitutional rights
The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution concerns five main rights. One of these rights is the property owner’s right to receive just compensation if his or her property is taken by the government and used for public use. This compensation allows you to rent or purchase an equally valuable piece of property at another location. Eminent domain is a right that every independent government has.
The government wins in most cases
The eminent domain process starts with an appraisal of your property. Its value is determined during the appraisal and allows the government to make an offer for purchase. A property owner who accepts the offer will receive payment for it, and the government receives the land. The government still receives the land even if the property owner rejects the offer in a process known as condemnation proceedings. The owner can obtain another valuation and negotiate a more fair offer for the property.
Your land for a greater public need
Unfortunately, the government can seize your land and do whatever they want with your property. This occurs only if they have a greater public use for the land and will compensate you for your loss. Eminent domain doesn’t occur often, but when it does, every property owner must be familiar with the process.