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
Governor Abbott’s Border Wall Plan Could Create New Eminent Domain Issues For Texas Landowners
June 11, 2021
This week, Gov. Abbott announced his initial plans for Texas to build its own border wall, with more details to be shared next week. This action follows President Biden’s suspension of border wall construction earlier this year.
New Bill Could Better Protect Texas Landowners In Eminent Domain Cases
June 9, 2021
House Bill 2730 has been sent to the Governor for consideration. If signed into law, the legislation could provide more protection for Texas landowners facing condemnation of their property.
El Paso Landowner Fighting TxDOT To Buy Back Land At Fair Price
May 21, 2021
After receiving just compensation from the Texas Department of Transportation in an El Paso eminent domain dispute in 2017, two local Texas property owners are now fighting to buy back their land at a fair price.
Partner Nick Laurent Quoted in Article About Land Condemnation Lawsuits Tied to Border Wall Construction
May 7, 2021
Discussions continue in South Texas around repairs needed for portions of the Hidalgo County levee system, as well as issues for Texas landowners whose property has been impacted by border wall construction.