Inverse Condemnation & Regulatory Takings
Inverse Condemnation & Regulatory Takings
Inverse condemnation occurs when the government takes or damages property without first paying just compensation or filing a lawsuit to acquire the property. This may occur with a physical taking such as a land seizure, denial of access, or continued possession after a lease expires. An inverse condemnation may also occur when the government places a regulation or other restriction on property that unreasonably restricts its use.
Understanding Inverse Condemnation
The Constitutions of both the United States and Texas guarantee that no person should be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of the law. Further, the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 17, of the Texas Constitution states that private property cannot be taken for public use without "just” or “adequate” compensation.
The right of the government to take private property for public use is known as eminent domain. In a typical eminent domain case, the government will seize a piece of property for a public use. That use may be to build a park, construct a school or provide land for a private project such as the building of apartments in blighted areas where that property presents a public safety risk. Regardless of the reason for the taking, the government will initiate the taking and offer the property owner what it believes is fair compensation for the property. The property owner can accept this offer or fight it by establishing that the property’s fair market value is higher than what the government has offered.
In an inverse condemnation case, it is the landowner and not the government that initiates the action. The landowner alleges that the government has acquired an interest in or overly restricted the use of his or her property without just compensation as a result of the government’s action or regulation.
Examples of Inverse Condemnation & Regulatory Takings
Inverse condemnation actions generally occur when the government has over-regulated a property such that it cannot be fairly used. Not every regulation restricting the use of property goes so far as to constitute a constitutional taking. However, if the government goes too far when it imposes restrictions, denies permits or variances, or eliminate all practical use of the property, there may be an entitlement to compensation. Although the property owner still owns the property, the government’s actions have reduced or eliminated its value and/or usefulness. With the help of Barron, Adler, Clough & Oddo, LLP’s Texas condemnation attorneys, the landowner can initiate an inverse condemnation action alleging that his property was effectively taken and seeking just compensation for the taking.
Contact the Inverse Condemnation Attorneys at Barron, Adler, Clough & Oddo, LLP
Inverse condemnation and regulatory takings cases are often more complex than other types of eminent domain cases since the property owner must prove that his land has been rendered useless or so significantly reduced in value as a result of the government's over-regulation so as to constitute a constitutional taking.
The Texas eminent domain lawyers at Barron, Adler, Clough & Oddo, LLP have successfully represented hundreds of clients in eminent domain and inverse condemnation cases. Contact us to discuss your inverse condemnation action and develop a plan to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.
News & Resources
Eminent Domain Reform Bill Filed at Legislature
January 25, 2019
Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and Rep. DeWayne Burns have filed companion bills in the Legislature that would reform the eminent domain system in Texas (Senate Bill 421 and House Bill 991). Similar bills have been filed in prior Legislative sessions, but have failed.
Article on Border Wall by Barron Adler Lawyers Published in ABA Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Magazine
January 22, 2019
An article about the border wall and unique legal issues associated with it, written by Barron Adler lawyers Roy Brandys, Nick Laurent, and Blaire Knox, has been published in the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Section Magazine. The article is a re-print of the same article that was previously published in the ABA Real Property, Trusts & Estate Law Section Magazine. A lengthier version of the article has also been published in the ABA Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Journal, Vol 53, No. 1 (Spring 2018).
Plains All American Pipeline Makes $1 Million Grant Available to Brown County
January 14, 2019
The Brownwood Bulletin reports that Plains All American Pipeline has offered to make $1 million available for grants to public safety agencies that are within 30 miles of the company’s Permian Basin to Houston pipeline. The pipeline will cross through the norther portion of Brown County, and the company also plans to build a second pipeline through the norther part of the County.