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Sacramento Inverse Condemnation Attorney

Posted on March 25 2015 by Gabriela Ocampo

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Center has filed amici curiae brief in support of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Property and owners of Property Reserve with calls to the California Supreme Court to uphold the decision passed by the Third District Court of Appeal against California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

California Department of Water Resources (DWR) had requested to enter the property of the above named owners for the purposes of undertaking geological and environmental activities such as installing permanent structures and drilling holes. The Court of Appeal found that this was not part of the superficial activities permitted under California law and that it should follow eminent domain procedures when entering the piece of property. The court found that geological activities amounted to taking the property and that California entry rules would be unconstitutional if used to grant DWR entry to the property.

Eminent domain is power granted to primary governments that enable them to use private property for sake of public good. In such a case, they may force the sale of the piece of property or change in the way that the owners use the piece of land.

Inverse condemnation proceedings

You can initiate inverse condemnation proceedings if the government or any of its agencies takes over your property, damages your property, or limits its use to such a point that its usefulness is seriously affected. You may file the inverse condemnation case to ask the court to make a ruling for the authority to eliminate restrictions placed on your property or give you just compensation for the loss that you have incurred due to its action on your property.

In the above excerpt, should the California Supreme Court uphold the decision of the Third District Court of Appeal, the owners of the property will be compensated for the loss they will incur due to damage or taking over of their property by the DWR.

Presenting your case

You are the plaintiff in the inverse condemnation case while the government becomes the defendant. You must prove to the court that the government treaded upon your rights through any of the four circumstances listed below.

  • Unreasonable restriction to use of the property

The government may restrict the development that you may make on your property. It may do this by withholding permits to allow you develop your property or refusing to accept zoning changes on your property. You can claim compensation if you prove that the restrictions made your property lose value thereby causing you a loss.

Regulatory taking

This is a case where the authorities pass legislation that restricts the use of your property. You need verifiable evidence that the legislation significantly changed the way your property could be used, prevented practical use of the property or significantly reduced the value of your property.

Physical take over

If the government takes possession of your property without instituting the correct eminent domain procedures, giving compensation that does not reflect the market price of the property or overstepping its powers under the eminent domain, you may make a claim for inverse condemnation.

Legal procedures under inverse condemnation law are very complex. You need an experienced and competent inverse condemnation legal team to find the strongest ground from which to launch your case. Furthermore, you need a collection of solid facts to support your arguments thereby giving you a better chance of the court ruling in your favor. Ensure you get just compensation for your Sacramento property with a qualified Sacramento Inverse Condemnation Attorney.