So what is eminent domain? How can the government or corporation come in and just take your property to build a public project? Hi, I'm eminent domain attorney, David Todd. And that's the question I hear from people who've never dealt with eminent domain before is, how does this work? How do they have the right to do this to me? Eminent domain is simply the right of a government entity, whether it's the federal government, the state government, a county, a city, local administrative authority, to use the inherent power of the government for public benefit, for public projects to take private property. As you can imagine, if they didn't have this right, a single landowner could block things like highways and road improvements and things like that.
The other part of this process is that it can be different kinds of projects. It can be, corporations can use eminent domain authority as if they were a government entity. They're basically borrowing the power of the government, if they can make the argument that it is a public project that's going to help everybody in the general public. So the question then becomes, what can you do about it? Well, the US Constitution and the Texas Constitution both provide that you're entitled to full compensation when your property is going to be taken for a public project.
What is full compensation? Well, that's often the fight. It's difficult to stop these projects. So you want to be sure that you protect yourself, your financial interest, your land interest and your rights when you first find out about a project or get some sort of notice that this is going to happen. The best way to do that is to educate yourself. I would recommend getting our free guide off our website, Davidtoddlaw.com, where you can learn how eminent domain works, what the process is, and really learn how you can protect yourself and how we may be able to help you as a landowner protect yourself. So check it out and give us a holler and we'll be glad to help you any way we can.
Here's a link to the Texas Landowner's Bill of Rights.