Eminent Domain


Eminent Domain Attorneys Serving Chicago and Surrounding Areas

The Eminent Domain Attorneys at Ryan & Ryan have represented property owners in eminent domain cases since 1975. Eminent domain is the power to take any property for public use without the owner’s consent in exchange for the payment of just compensation. In Illinois, the two limits on the power of eminent domain are that the taking must be for public purpose and the owner must be paid just compensation. Typically the most highly contested aspect of an eminent domain proceeding is the determination of just compensation for the property owner. The power of the State of Illinois to take or condemn property by eminent domain has been delegated to municipalities, forest preserves, park districts, school districts, railroads, and public utilities. The Eminent Domain Act lists those entities that have been granted the power of eminent domain and provides the procedures that must be followed to acquire property by condemnation or eminent domain.

The Illinois Eminent Domain Act Explained

In June of 2005, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Kelo v. City of New London, 125 S. Ct. 2655 (2005). The U.S. Supreme Court held that the “public use” requirement of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment allows the government to acquire private property through the power of eminent domain and then transfer the property to a private developer even though the property is not located in a blighted area. However, the Court stated that its decision did not prevent states from enacting legislation to place more restrictions on the government’s power to take private property. The public responded negatively to the Kelo decision. Governor Blagojevich signed the Illinois Eminent Domain Act into law on July 28, 2006. The Illinois Eminent Domain Act became effective January 1, 2007. This legislation, in some cases, places more restrictions on the government’s acquisition of private property and may increase compensation awards for property owners in certain cases.

Contact us today; we’re available to meet in person or over the phone or video conferencing. For more information on eminent domain and property rights in Illinois, check out our FAQs.

FAQ About Eminent Domain and Property Rights in Illinois

The Illinois Constitution prohibits the taking or damaging of private property for a public use without payment of just compensation.

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Is Your Property Subject to Condemnation?

Federal, state, and local government agencies have the power to take private property for public use. The power is conditioned upon the constitutional requirement that the government...

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Protecting Your Property

Ryan & Ryan will help you answer the following questions when the government is interested in taking your property through the use of eminent domain: How do I protect my...

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Illinois Road Projects and Partial Takings

Approximately 50% of the eminent domain cases handled by Ryan & Ryan on behalf of private property owners in Illinois involve land acquisitions by the government, including...

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METRA & CTA PROJECTS

Ryan & Ryan represents property owners in eminent domain cases involving METRA and Chicago Transit Authority (“CTA”) Projects. Ryan & Ryan represented four parcels...

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Tax Increment Financing Districts

Governmental bodies can not only take your property for public uses such as roads, parks, forest preserves, municipal buildings, public buildings, schools, airports, public stadiums...

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Defending the Right of Property Ownership