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What are the elements of a condemnation petition?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Eminent Domain

Organizations with eminent domain authority may acquire private properties for public use in Texas. However, property acquisitions involve complex proceedings, and the parties may not easily reach an agreement.

In these scenarios, the organization may file a condemnation petition in the appropriate court. If your property is involved in this proceeding, you should know what to look for in the petition to respond to it appropriately.

Understanding condemnation petitions

Initiating a condemnation proceeding requires the entity with the eminent domain power to file a petition. This process should outline the following information:

  • The current landowner
  • The property the institution wants to acquire
  • How it intends to use the property after the transfer
  • Statements saying that it informed the property owner of their bill of rights
  • Proof that the organization made a just offer to acquire the property from the landowner
  • Statements explaining that the involved parties cannot reach an agreement on their own

Knowing these elements will allow you to determine appropriate legal options once you know the organization’s intention behind filing the petition.

Know your rights during the condemnation proceedings

You should know your rights if an organization offers you compensation in exchange for your property through eminent domain.

During the process, you may seek a written appraisal from a certified appraiser in the state. The document should underscore the appropriate compensation owed to you for giving up the land.

If you believe the condemning party engaged in misconduct, you may even file a complaint with the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) along with evidence supporting your claim.

Consider legal action if the entity files a condemnation petition without offering you compensation for the property. They must make an offer to the landowner before they can file a petition.

You are also free to work with legal professionals who can help you discuss the nuances of the proceedings with the condemning organization. This way, you can determine the next steps in the condemnation process.

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