Wisconsin Eminent Domain Attorneys

Experienced, Highly Skilled Representation of Landowners in Condemnation Matters

Has your property been condemned by the government under the power of eminent domain? Eminent Domain and Condemnation Laws are highly complex, with most property owners unaware of their rights. As a landowner, you may find yourself in a confusing “game” that you never foresaw and never asked to play. Unfortunately, most lawyers are unaware of the complexity involved in an eminent domain matter and often provide inadequate representation. No matter the specifics of your eminent domain case, it is strongly suggested that you seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in this area of the law.

The eminent domain lawyers at Niebler Pyzyk have experience negotiating and litigating condemnation cases in Wisconsin, as well as across the U.S. at the federal court level. Early intervention by an attorney in eminent domain cases will help you fully understand what your options and rights are.

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Eminent Domain Definition

The right to own, use and exclude others from your property (regardless of its form as land, personal property or otherwise) is one of the most fundamental constitutional rights each of us as Americans are guaranteed by our State and Federal Constitutions. However, our government retains the power to take or otherwise interfere with this Constitutional right under its power of eminent domain.

The power of eminent domain allows the government to take private property for “public purposes” or for the “public good.” When the government uses this power, it must pay for the rights it takes by providing “just compensation” to the property owner. We are experts in protecting the rights of property owners not only to obtain just compensation, but also in recognizing and defending many other questions that often arise during what is often a complex and exhausting process.

Common uses of property taken by eminent domain:

  • Public utilities (typically to install or expand oil and gas pipelines and high voltage transmission lines)
  • Highways and other public roads
  • Airports
  • Public safety
  • Government buildings (and other public facilities)

Wisconsin Property Rights

When and Why Should You Hire an Eminent Domain Attorney?

It’s important to hire an attorney as soon as you’ve been told the government intends to condemn your property. Because our Constitution also protects the government’s power of eminent domain, it is almost always a process that cannot be stopped. Of course there are always those rare instances where the government has wrongly executed or abused its power of eminent domain and we have the experience to recognize and defend these types of cases. However, in the vast majority of cases if your property has become the subject of eminent domain, you will lose it. When that happens, protecting your right to receive adequate and full “just compensation” requires the appropriate legal help to ensure the government pays what you are constitutionally entitled to. Hiring the legal professionals at Niebler, Pyzyk, Carrig, Jelenchick & Hanley, LLP is the best way to guard this right.

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Your Right to Just Compensation

If your land is condemned by the government under eminent domain, you are entitled to just compensation. In Wisconsin, in order to be justly compensated property owners must be given a full and perfect equivalent in money for the property taken. This means that property owners are to be placed in as good a position monetarily as he/she would have been if the property had not been taken. As the property owner, you may feel the proposed compensation is not fair in comparison to your loss. You may also not know that where the condemning authority only takes part of your property, you are likely entitled to damages associated with the effects this partial taking has on the value of the property you are left with. This is called “severance” and without appropriate legal help, you may not recognize this loss and could mistakenly waive the “severance” compensation you are entitled to.

There are other special circumstances that may trigger a right to additional compensation. For example, if the property being taken affects or eliminates the access to your property, you must be compensated for the effects the loss of access has on your ability to use the property that you retain after the project is complete. The construction activities from the project itself may also have an effect on your ability to use the property you retain if the project creates inconveniences like noise, dirt or the loss of access or the need to use alternative routes to gain access to your property.

Reimbursement for Attorney Fees under Eminent Domain

In Wisconsin, under certain circumstances, landowners are entitled to recover their litigation costs. These costs include the right to recover attorney’s fees. We have been very successful in recovering our clients’ litigation costs and make it a priority in every case we take to examine the likelihood we can recover litigation costs so that you know from the beginning what your costs may be.

Having an attorney on your side saves you from being intimidated by the condemner, signing an inequitable deal , missing a hidden deadline or potentially adding insult to injury by receiving less than what you are truly entitled to. If your property is the subject of eminent domain, we have the expertise, the reputation and the resources to develop and present your case and protect your constitutional right to just compensation.

Contact our Wisconsin eminent domain attorneys to schedule your free consultation.
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