Condemnation/Eminent Domain

Condemnation and Eminent Domain Law grants government the power to take private property, either partially or in its entirety, for public purposes. Land is most commonly taken for purposes such as transportation and public utilities.
When condemnation occurs, property owners are due just compensation, often including fair compensation for the property, moving expenses, engineering fees, appraisal fees and attorney's fees in certain cases.
Unfortunately just compensation is a very subjective assessment of damages to be paid, and property owners are cautioned about accepting the government's subjective appraisal of property values. An attorney experienced in this specialized area of law may serve property owners by ensuring proper procedures have been followed and their interests have been protected.

Quinlivan & Hughes' Condemnation and Eminent Domain Practice Group has a long history of representing those from whom property has been taken for public use. We have appeared before commissioner hearings and juries and work closely with real estate experts in obtaining the highest possible recoveries for our clients.

Protect your rights

Whether the government is planning to take all or only a portion of your property, it is important to have an independent appraisal done before you sign your name to any agreement. Your property is an investment, and the addition of an unsightly power line pole or the loss of a freeway tree buffer could impact the value of your property significantly.

Hiring an Attorney

It is important to remember that your best interest and the interest of the government may conflict. Staying within budget often requires condemning government authorities to keep costs, including what is paid in eminent domain settlements, as low as possible. If your property is going to be taken and the government offer price is significantly lower than your independent appraisal, you should protect your property investment and hire a reputable eminent domain attorney.

How Are Eminent Domain Attorneys Paid?

Eminent Domain Attorneys are paid 2 ways, hourly or on a contingent basis. If you choose to pay hourly, you will pay the attorney only for the time he works on your file. If you choose to pay on a contingent basis, you will only pay your attorney a percentage of the final award, and nothing until that occurs. Individual circumstances may find either option a better choice.

In Minnesota, state law provides for full attorney reimbursement by the utility if the court award is 40% more than their (the utility's) final written offer. If the court award is 20% to 40% more than the utilities final written offer, attorneys fees can still be paid by the utility at the discretion of the court.