Eminent domain is the power of the government or quasi-governmental entities to take private property and convert it for public use. The Fifth Amendment provides that the government may only exercise this power if they can prove public purpose or public necessity, and if so, they must provide just compensation to the property owners. A variety of property rights are subject to eminent domain, such as air, water, real estate, and land rights.
Advocacy Matters exclusively represents landowners and individuals threatened by eminent domain and not the governmental entities or industries who wish to enforce it. I have worked first-hand, proactively to take measures that thwarted eminent domain actions and I understand the legal tests for establishing public purpose or public necessity.
Due process is your right. In many states, including New Mexico, the law allows that parties agree to and carry out a compromise or settlement as to any matter, including all or any part of the compensation or other relief.
If you’re reading this, most likely you are on notice that you will be affected by eminent domain. The most important thing now is that you know and understand your rights before engaging. Remember, the government is not like any other potential buyer that wants to acquire your property at the lowest price possible. The government compels transfer of your property at a proposed valuation. Their appraisers may underestimate the true value and may neglect to consider and factor in damages that can increase the amount of just compensation to you.
Even if you are amenable to the condemnation, or know that it is inevitable under the law, there are still many moving parts to negotiate and ensure that you receive the best treatment throughout the process.