Real Estate Valuation & Litigation
The municipal, state or federal government has the right of eminent domain, or the ability to take over your property for a pressing need that benefits the public good. They have to compensate you fairly for your property, which can be a long and arduous process.
First, you may want to know if you have the right of refusal. In most cases, you do not, but even if you cannot stop the government from taking your business property, it’s important to have competent legal assistance to ensure that your rights are protected and that you do receive rightful compensation.
Eminent Domain Valuation
In an eminent domain case, one of the most difficult parts of the process is determining a fair valuation for your property. The government wishes to pay as little as possible, but you’ll have to relocate your business and incur all the expenses of doing so; you’ll need to be compensated fairly. A U.S. Government Accountability Office report dating back to 2006 found that while comprehensive information is limited, many believe that payment limits for eminent domain seizure are too low.
In order to achieve the best possible value for your property, you won’t want to negotiate it by yourself. A skilled valuation litigation attorney can help you set a reasonable price for your business and ensure you minimize your losses related to relocation or closing.
There are other instances in addition to eminent domain cases where valuation litigation may be necessary to determine a fair market value for your business. These cases could include:
- Sales of businesses
- Business goodwill valuation
- Lease buyout disputes
- Partition actions
Not every attorney or law firm is qualified to take on a valuation litigation case. The specialized business and real estate litigation lawyers at Palmieri Tyler are experienced in working with appraisers, accountants, cost estimators, civil and traffic engineers, architects and other experts to achieve a fair valuation for your business property.
Eminent Domain Litigation
The amount that you think is fair and reasonable for your business property may not coincide with what government officials have budgeted to pay for your land or assets. When the government offers a much lower price than is reasonable when taking your property through eminent domain, you’ll need the services of a knowledgeable law firm to handle your case and the sometimes challenging negotiations that can result.
You are entitled to fair market value for your property. Fair market value is defined as the highest price that would be paid on the open market by a neutral buyer. It’s not the lowest possible price — which is often what you’ll be offered by the government.
Working with a qualified valuation litigation attorney, you can assert a claim for greater compensation with the government. This can also include the loss of “business goodwill,” or benefits due to location and reputation, that you’ve built as a business owner.
Palmieri Tyler has assisted in more than 2,000 valuation litigation cases to get the best possible fair market value for displaced business owners.
Legal Assistance for Eminent Domain Valuation and Litigation
Valuation litigation cases can be time consuming and stressful, which can take a toll on any business owner whose primary job is running a company. A knowledgeable legal partner can take on most of the work for you and help you navigate the complexities of an eminent domain case. As well, if you try to negotiate with government officials alone, you may not achieve as high of a valuation as an experienced business or real estate litigation lawyer can get for you.
Working with Palmieri Tyler’s skilled litigation attorneys can give you peace of mind that you’re not leaving money on the table and can prevent the anxiety that comes from having to deal with low-ball offers from government officials.
The Eminent Domain Valuation and Litigation Process
The first legal step in the process of using eminent domain to claim privately owned business property is a “resolution of necessity.” The property owner receives a written, formal resolution declaring that the government plans to acquire the tract of private property using eminent domain laws. The “resolution of necessity” will tell you as the owner when a formal hearing will be held to allow you to speak.
This is the best time to involve a valuation litigation attorney who is experienced with California law. You’ll want to have skilled help on your side during this hearing, because it is the best, and sometimes, the only time you’ll have to raise certain arguments that will increase the valuation you receive. In very limited circumstances, you may even be able to challenge the government’s right to take the property at all. To ensure your rights are upheld, attend the hearing with your attorney.
Following the hearing, which commonly results in the government proceeding with the eminent domain process, you’ll receive an offer for your property. The first offer you receive may be extremely low, and almost certainly won’t include compensation for relocation or loss of “business goodwill.”
Your litigation attorney will then be able to challenge the government offer and extend a more reasonable fair market value. The negotiation for fair compensation can take many months depending on how quickly the government wants to move and how willing they are to pay your asking price. In most cases, your business and real estate litigation lawyer will be able to get a significantly higher fair market value for your property than you were originally offered.
Receive Representation from Our Eminent Domain Attorneys
Locating and working with an experienced valuation litigation attorney is key to managing the process as smoothly as possible and achieving the best possible market value for your property. At Palmieri Tyler, we can offer effective guidance so that you fully understand your legal options. We’ll protect your options and help you with any compensation issues you’re experiencing during your eminent domain case.
Contact the law office of Palmieri Tyler in Irvine to schedule a free consultation about your case and start the process of working with a knowledgeable eminent domain attorney who specializes in valuation litigation.