Eminent Domain

Is Your Property Subject to Condemnation?

Private Property

Federal, state, and local government agencies have the power to take private property for public use. The power is conditional upon the constitutional requirement that the government must pay “just compensation.” Unlike other areas of the law, the government does not protect your rights; rather the government is your adversary or opponent. Condemnation or eminent domain is the process whereby your property is taken by the government against your will for a public project or in some instances to benefit a private developer.

All private property is potentially subject to a government taking. It is our responsibility to analyze your particular situation, whether the government is acting within the law to take your property, and to determine if the government’s offer constitutes “just compensation” (or the fair market value) of your property being taken. This includes any damages to the value of your remaining property.

The Illinois Eminent Domain Act requires that every public body pay relocation and moving costs. This includes the costs of disconnecting all equipment and personal property, packing such material, transporting it to the new location, and if necessary, remodeling the new location to install the equipment and personal property.

The process of eminent domain involves a court case and jury trial if the case cannot be settled. It is a situation where competent attorneys lacking the specialized knowledge of condemnation law can cost their clients thousands and even millions of dollars. The number of Illinois lawyers who practice in the area of eminent domain is limited in comparison to other areas of the legal profession. The lawyers at Ryan & Ryan have over 100 years of collective experience in condemnation proceedings.

Ryan & Ryan has helped many of our clients obtain relocation payments and moving costs. We have negotiated relocation payments for asphalt plants, waste transfer stations, manufacturing plants, recycling facilities, truck terminals, restaurants, storage facilities, retail stores, day care centers, all types of industrial uses, chemical plants, as well as residential uses.

The five lawyers at Ryan & Ryan are available to meet with you and analyze your situation at no cost to you. If you retain our firm, we only receive attorneys’ fees if we are able to succeed in increasing the compensation being offered by the government. Our attorneys’ fees are paid for at the time the property owner receives compensation from the government.

For more information on eminent domain and property rights in Illinois, check out our FAQs.

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